October 28, 2016

All Souls Procession Update- The Hunter and the Hunted

A quick update in words and pictures- mostly just teasers!
Have no idea what I'm writing about? It's this event that my taiko group is involved in every year. 

My costume this year involves this hat-
Pilgrims hat from Japan

Kitsune (fox) mask

Plus haiku by Kobayashi Issa, this year's finale theme of the Hunter and the Hunted, kitsune masks, visiting taiko players, an Oni (Japanese demon) dancer, and new chant our group is doing in-between dancing- it's an Ainu folk song about a wolf and deer running in the woods. The whole event is going to be amazing and beautiful. 
More updates soon,

October 6, 2016

Autumn Kimono Season Has Started!!

It's very  late, I'm lazy, so I'm sharing Odaiko Sonora's enewsletter. Kimono season has started for 2016!
I will be playing taiko with my group at Tucson Meet Yourself  festival this Saturday (Highlighted yellow part below) and dressing myself and others in yukata for the show! Look for me on stage during the obon dance demo right after our taiko performance- I'll be in yukata. Photos soon!

From left: Lantern-making Happy Hours commence on Oct. 6 for the 
2016 All Souls Procession; our Community Group prepares for Odaiko Sonora's 15th year at 
Tucson Meet Yourself, Sat., Oct. 8 at 2:00pmat which; … 
Sahuaro High School marching band members will debut their fall program, which includes taiko!

Awake the Season
Odaiko Sonora is gearing up for a big fall! This Thursday, Oct. 6 we
 launch All Souls Procession season activities with our first
 Lantern-making Happy Hour, 5:30-7:30pm, at Takamatsu, 
5532 E. Speedway. Then, this weekend, Sat., Oct. 8, the 
entire group — 22 players strong — performs at Tucson Meet
 Yourself. Our set begins at 2:00pm on the Church Street stage. 
Special appearance by the Sahuaro High School marching band, 
who we worked with this summer, performing two sections of 
Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song, by Samuel R. Hazo. Then,
from 3:00–3:45pm, we'll lead a very special presentation in
conjunction with the Southern AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition. 
in this session, you'll learn about the Japanese tradition of obon,
learn several dances and get to participate in a mini-obon festival!
After you see us, we think you may want to learn to play taiko! 
Our next All Ages Recreational Taiko beginners' class starts 
Oct. 22 and continues every Saturday from 2:30–4:30pm through Nov. 19.

Join us this fall
Thurs., Oct. 6, 5:30–7:30pm: Memorial Lantern-making Happy Hour. 
All Souls Procession season activities begin with our first Lantern-making
 Happy Hour. Join us to make a Japanese toronagashi-style lantern to 
commemorate loved ones. The lanterns will be carried in the All Souls 
Procession on Nov. 6. All materials provided but you are welcome to bring
 (safely flammable) descorations of your own that can be added to the 
paper covers. Suggested donation to ASP. Lantern-making continues 
every Thursday in October. Takamatsu, 5532 E. Speedway.

Sat., Oct. 8, 2:00–3:45pm: Tucson Meet Yourself. 
See us at the Church St. stage. Performance at 2:00pm, mini-obon festival 
at 3:00–3:45pm. Our set will include a variety of traditional and original taiko 
compositions, including a new song by Performing
 Ensemble member Nicole Stansbury.

Wed. Oct. 19, 5:3 pm and Sat., Oct. 22, 12:30pm: ASP Obon
Learn the All Souls Procession dance and chant, then join us on
 Nov. 6 as we walk. The dance is the same as last year's, but we
 have a new chant for this year’s theme of The Hunter and the 
Hunted. Rhythm Industry Performance Factory, 1013 S. Tyndall.

Saturdays, Oct. 22–Nov. 192:30–4:30pm.
Wear comfortable clothes you can move freely in and bring a water bottle.
 We take care of the rest! Try the first class free. If you like it, sign up for
 the 5-week session. Sign up on our website www.tucsontaiko.org via 
Paypal, email info@tucsontaiko.org or call (520) 481-8003. Rhythm 
Industry Performance Factory, 1013 S. Tyndall.

Sun., Nov. 6: All Souls Procession
Arigato gozaimasu!

August 23, 2016

Yes, It's Almost Kimono Season!

Hi everyone
It's been a long time- in fact- it was in March last time I posted anything worthy! Many things have happened since then though.
Summer is too hot for kimono for where I live in Arizona, so I don't post much in the summer, but it's winding down and the kimono-wearing events are starting to heat up! Two events that are note-worthy so far: at our local folk arts and food festival, Tucson Meet Yourself- my taiko group is performing on Saturday, October 8th and I will be doing some kind of kimono demonstration. Not sure what yet, but it's sure to be connected to Obon some how since our own Tucson Ondo dance will be taught at the event.
Next up is the All Souls Procession- another event that involves taiko and dance and of course yukata and kimono.
Right after the last post I made on this blog, I lost a close family member and then ten days later, a work colleague and friend passed away unexpectedly. It was pretty devastating but with All Souls coming up in November, I have an outlet for the grief. I'm working on a costume-y yukata type wearable art project that involves photos and mementos and I will be revealing bit of my project here in process! I will not be wearing mofuku, the traditional mourning kimono, but something more life-affirming and colorful.  Right now, I have a yukata that someone gave me that I may dye and or paint to customize it- other than that, I don't have enough to show you yet- mostly a few sketches and ideas.
So stay tuned more!

April 7, 2016

TAO Concert Ensemble- pink and black

On March 6, a big group of us went to see TAO perform at the Fox Theater in Tucson. 
The weather was supposed to be unseasonably warm, so I picked out a black sha kimono to go with my new pink ro summer fukuro obi with the gold and silver nadeshinko (dianthus). The weather turned out to be overcast and really nice- perfect kimono weather. 

I was running a little late and have never tied this obi before, so after struggling to make a double otaiko musubi, I gave up and tied a basic bunko musubi. My rule is to always practice with a new obi before wearing it but I wasn't able to this time.

The fun part was I was the only one at the whole show in kimono, so I stood out. Afterwards, I shook hands with one of the TAO members during the lobby meet and greet and he was very impressed with my outfit. Afterwards, we went to lunch at Penca and then walked around downtown for a while. The spring flowers were blooming and the weather was lovely- a perfect day in the desert. 

I bought the new pink obi at Phoenix Matsuri- in fact, I was super lucky since I found 4 summer obi. I'll post photos of them soon as well as a few photos of my weekend of taiko and yukata in Phoenix!
More photos soon,