Thursday, September 9, 2010

Towada Aki Matsuri

Towada's biggest event is finally upon us! This Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the 十和田市秋まつり (Towada-shi Aki Matsuri, a.k.a. Fall Festival)!!

Selected Events:

Friday, September 9:
14:00~ Parade along 三本木大通り (旧国道4号線) (Sanbongi Odori - Old. Rte. 4)
18:00~ Mikoshi (Portable Shrine Carrying); Nagashi Odori (various dances: Yosakoi, Hip-Hop, etc.) along 官庁街通り (Kanchogai Dori)

Saturday, September 10:
19:00~20:30 Evening parade (floats, mikoshi, etc.) along 官庁街通り (Kanchogai Dori)
*There are also various performances during the afternoon

Sunday, September 11:
14:00~ Mikoshi, parade, Ofukanai JHS Komaodori (horse dance), etc. along 三本木大通り (旧国道4号線) (Sanbongi Odori - Old. Rte. 4)

Check out the following links (Japanese only) for more detailed information:
Website | Event Schedule | Road Closure Map

Taiko debut!

I started practicing with the 十和田水神雷太鼓 (Towada Suijin Kaminari Daiko) Taiko group last October. Almost a year later and I've finally gotten the OK to perform in public with them this Friday at the 十和田市秋祭 (Towada-shi Aki Matsuri a.k.a. Fall Festival)!

Even though I'm super excited, personally I still don't feel like I'm quite up to snuff for performing yet. Actually, this technically isn't my first time performing with the group; I went to watch a performance in April (on Showa Day) but there weren't enough "real" members of the group, so they asked me to join in.

At the time, I only had a couple of weeks of practice under my belt after an approximately 4-month long break from practicing (because I went to Canada for Christmas vacation, then Osaka in January, was crazy busy with graduation video/gift preparations and then had friends over for spring vacation). Needless to say I performed pretty badly. It also didn't help that the drum available for me to play on was at the front, so there wasn't anyone in front of me to take a lead from... I got a DVD recording of the performance, and it was quite painful (but also amusing) to see how terrible I was. Thankfully I was cut out of the shot for most of the video. =P

Anyway, since that experience I've been much more diligent about practicing so even though I expect I'll still make a bunch of mistakes, I'm a lot more confident about performing this time around. In fact, I'm really looking forward to it! (I even recently bought a Wii taiko drum/batchi set--just the drum and sticks, no game--so I could practice in my apartment at any time without unduly disturbing the neighbours. I'm such a nerd! =P)

This is probably the first time I've ever been able to honestly say that I'm looking forward to a performance. I actually really dislike performing in front of people, but when I went to see the group's performance in July at the 十和田湖湖水祭 (Lake Towada Kosui Matsuri) I thought performing looked like so much fun I really wanted to be able to perform with them.

I never expected I'd be able to do so a mere two months later, though. Actually, I suspect part of the reason I got the OK to join the performance is probably because it's a Friday and many people are probably working and unable to make it in time, so they need more members... ^_~ Regardless of the reason, I'm glad I can finally make my debut!