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Sanshi’s Japan Tour with Breath!

Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 in Articles by Posted by

The Breath Trio toured through Japan from south to north just like a typhoon! If you don’t know about Breath, check us out here… www.breathtrio.com

Breath Trio Japan Tour

Kumamoto in Kyusyu

First we gathered in Kumamoto in Kyusyu, collaborating with lots of traditional Japanese musicians, including 21 string Koto (Japanese Harp) player Izumi Fujikawa and Melbourne’s Wadaiko (Japanese Drums) team Rindo. Where we were invited for the Kumamoto Australia week event!

We played the old Kumamoto Castle which has “Crow Castle” as its nickname! We saw a few Samurai-costumed staff there making the atmosphere. We then performed on the Honmaru goten stage twice: once for the moon viewing party night under the September full moon, and the next day with wadaiko groups. Wadaiko is an ensemble of different sized drums creating big beats! I have always dreamed of playing Didge with Wadaiko! Exciting rhythms and power!!!

Anne Norman (Breath’s Shakuhachi player) had her tea show at Sojo University gallery and Reo Matsumoto (Breath’s Beatboxer) and I joined her show! At the end of Kumamoto visit we played at Shintoshin Plaza in front of the Kumamoto Station, where there was a music hall with proper lighting and sound systems. I had wireless microphones on each of my Didgeridoos! I played several times at the concert, huge response and cheers were given…. and that was the start of our journey in Japan!

While we were in Kumamoto, we hung out as Breath and practiced, instead of sight seeing. We would love to come back and discover the Mt. Aso area where you can see the active volcano! Fire!

On to Hiroshima…

Next stage was Hiroshima, we had a concert with Hiroshima’s Shyakuhachi club and players (Japanese bamboo flute) at Aster Plaza, located near Hiroshima Peace Park. I had a morning walk to the peace park to see the atomic bomb memorial place. I saw lots of Origami cranes sent from all over the world wishing for peace. There stood the Genbaku Dome: the only building that survived the bomb within a kilometer from the ground zero. I also, prayed for world peace.

The concert started with us sourcing the sound-gear ourselves. We searched and found a local sound gear company just near by called literally, “sound company”. The helpful owner Murakami-san rented us a PA system and microphones. We met Anne’s old friends in Hiroshima, had a great concert there and an after party too. The next day we squeezed a visit to a sacred shrine called Itsukushima shirine where the goddess Benzaiten is worshiped. She is a goddess of art, so we prayed our journey to be safe and successful: thanks to Tsuku chan who guided us get to there!

Back to my hometown Kagawa

We drove off to my hometown Kagawa via Seto Ohashi Bridge across the Seto inland sea! You will see many islands one after another. When it’s sunset time, the islands will be surrounded by shiny golden sea…. one of my favorite views in this world!
Later we arrived at a Portuguese Restaurant called Mu near Marugame city then met the owner Mushimoto-san who draw the art inside and re-bumped the building with wild taste. His food is absolutely yummy! Both seafood and landfood. We also met Japanese calligraphy artist Mr. Higasa, who took his biggest brush and drew a character “謝” which means “Thank” or “Sorry” which is very interesting both meaning in one character. As you can see this character has three sections that also tied in with the Breath trio! Very thoughtful idea! He finished with a funny caricature of us. The audience was mostly my family and their friends, so I was little nervous to play in front of them, its funny that I don’t get this usually.

We visited my old high school for the special lecturer talking about our life style overseas, the taste of being musicians and living with our passion. We did a mini concert and collaborated with a Japanese Koto ensemble. We received letters from every student in that class later on, and they told us how they were encouraged and inspired with our visit. Thanks to Yoko Kondo who organized this opportunity!

There are more stories to told…
To be continued