Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Event Aftermath: Koto and Nihon-buyo Concert

On Thursday the 16th, Hong, Mel and I went to a koto and nihonbuyo (traditional Japanese dance) concert in Westminster Cathedral Hall. It was in aid of The Passage, which is a charity that helps homeless people.

It cost £20 each to get in, but it was well worth it because you rarely get to see Japanese dance in London! It was my first time seeing it, and I was quite enthralled - I kept trying to interpret each move! The only one I really got was the one of sakura petals falling :P I'm really glad I spent the money, because I doubt I'll ever get a chance to see it again (outside of Japan, of course), especially once I go home permanently!

Thursday itself was a hectic day - woke up at 7am, left the house at 8, classes from 9 till 3, rushed to Waitrose to buy loo paper and vegetables (OMG, Waitrose is selling such a good deal now! 5 seasonal vegetables -quite a lot of them- for only £4!! Of course I bought it. So what if I can't cook parsnips? I can learn!), then met up with Hong and we both got dressed. That's why my face looks so stupid in these photos - I was exhausted.

We left the flat at 6pm, hoping to meet Mel at St James's Park Station at 6.30pm. Due to a malfunction on my phone, we didn't meet till 6.50pm and was a few minutes late to the concert! Oh noes..

The concert starred the Haru Ichiban Group, which is a group of travelling performers. It consists of the following people:

Koto, Sangen, Voice: Rie Yanagisawa
Dance: Akiko Kobayashi
Shakuhachi, Flute, Shinobue: Clive Bell
Cello: Stuart Jones

I must say, the combination of cello and koto is surprisingly beautiful! The trio played the following songs:

1. Haru no uni (Sea in Spring) with koto, shakuhachi and cello.
2. Yachiyo jishi with sangen, cello and voice with dance.
3. Harusame (Spring Shower) with sangen, shakuhachi, cello and voice with dance. Hong said she's learning this dance! (She takes nihonbuyo lessons)
4. Aki no Shirabe (Tune of Autumn) with koto, flute and cello. This was also played in the previous koto concert, but it somehow sounded different with a flute and cello!


5. Gion kouta (Song of Gion, Kyoto) with sangen, shakuhachi, cello and voice with dance. Gion is a hanamachi in Kyoto - that is, a Geisha district. I was quite excited to see it because it's very famous and I've never seen it before!
6. Hokkai minyo chi (Song of Hokkaido) with koto, shakuhachi and cello. The first part of it (So ran bushi, Fishermen's song) was also played at the previous concert. I love that song!
7. Akikaze no kouta (Songs of the Autumn wind) with koto, flute, cello and voice. The poem this piece was composed for is very pretty! I'll post it sometime.
8. Sakura medley (Cherry blossom) with koto, shakuhachi, cello and voice with dance. It was a combination of 3 famous songs - ToRyanse (a walk through the Tenjin shrine), sakura sakura (an old folk's song), and Imayou (a famous 10th century song).

After that, we walked to Victoria Station, bought Burger King for dinner (haha) and took the tube home where we all sat around the couch and had a chip pile with mayonnaise. Oh, and we watched Black Adder haha. We ended up chatting for a long while. It was fun!

Okay, onto the pics!! Sorry for bad kitsuke and fugly face.

The front

The back

Upclose of my obi

My kimono was a mauve iromuji with a woven design of clear swirling waters. I get the feeling it's more of a spring kimono than an autumn kimono, but whatever! I hadn't any idea what to wear it with that wouldn't make it look too grey-ed out, but Hong helped me coordinate this outfit! This obi is a white nagoya obi with coloured stripes that I've had for ages and ages but never knew what to wear with. I'm glad I can finally wear it!

The obiage is Hong's and is a very refreshing shade of green. The obijime is a dark purple one, not sure of the name of the colour. I wanted it to be more young and modern despite the subdued matureness of the kimono, which is why I loved the striped obi with it. Also, I added on long dangly silver earrings and a huge purple ring to make me more.... "funky" I guess. Did I succeed?

Hong's ensemble

Hong's back

Hong is wearing a pale green tsukesage with pear green maple leaves. The pattern of the maple leaves look like swirling waters - I think my kimono matches hers! :D And the obi is maroon with silver, gold, orange and olive kikkou with gold kiku. The obiage is my olive obiage and the obijime is the gold and silver obijime I used in the RBW Challenge.

I helped coordinate this ensemble for her! This obi was actually a part of another set she'd bought (a bingata-inspired-style komon) but when I saw it with this kimono, I just HAD to pair them together! The green in the obi matched the kimono so well and the colour of the obi just made the whole outfit pop!

We both decided that the darker green obiage was best in bringing out the darker colours of the kimono while tying it in with the green of the obi. The obijime was to match the gold and silver bits in the obi. It looked like too much at first, till I realised that the front pattern didn't have much gold and silver, so it wouldn't be too overwhelming.

A nice Japanese lady at the concert

Same lady and her husband and friends

This lady was quite excited to see us in kimono. She insisted on taking pictures with us to show her friends in Japan that there are others who are also interested in Japanese culture and kimono. We asked her why she didn't wear one, and she said that when she moved to England permanently, she gave away all her kimono to her family and friends! How sad :(

We were quite popular during the interval - lots of people spoke to us and asked us questions about kimono :) I'm glad people took interest!

Ooooh guess what? That Japanese lady? She's also going to the kimono fashion show on November 11th! ^_^ Hong, Mel and I are going to that one and we're ALL going to wear kimono! *yay!* We're also attending a dinner they're having after that with Kobe beef. I honestly sincerely hope it's good stuff!! XDXDXD I still haven't coordinated my outfit for then! Hong and Mel are coming over this Friday to coordinate an outfit for Mel and I guess we can decide what we're going to wear then! Still, I've got to confirm with her what I'm wearing to the MCM Expo this Saturday hehehe..

Ling, am I going out too much? I swear, after the fashion show, it's the last event till I hand in all my coursework! (that'll be Dec 5th) Except maybe for a few exhibitions in a few museums... :P

That's all for now~~

P/S: My uterus was twitching the whole day because my period was due then. However, I've only JUST got it (my period) an hour ago. Talk about late! I've been PMSing and cramping for 5 EXTRA days because of it. I'm annoyed! >:(

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