Rare Materials Used in Shamisen

(from the printed program, Shinnai Association Godokenshu Concert, July 27, 2019) This year’s rainy season was much longer than usual. Although rain is an important source of water in the hot summertime, the summer season is very difficult for shamisen because of the high humidity. On the other hand~

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The Words of Our Founders Are Precious

(from the printed program, Shinnai Concert, Part III, June 1, 2019, concert) Takemoto Gidayu, the founder of gidayu, left the following message: “Teachers use words; keiko (training) comes from the beauties of nature.” This saying has profound meaning for those who are pursuing the performing arts. ~

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This Year’s First Student Recital March 9, 2019

(from the printed program, March 9, 2019, student recital)   Thank you very much for coming to my students’ first concert this year, even though you are busy. Last year, I performed concerts and recitals in various places. Perhaps because of an occupational hazard common to vocal performers, I had p~

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Plum Blossoms Smell Sweet After The Bitter Cold Of Winter

(from the printed program, Shinnai Association Concert, September 30, 2018) Around 300 years have passed since the birth of Tsuruga Wakasanojo I, and it’s about 260 years since he founded the shinnai genre. His masterpieces, including Akegarasu Yume no Awayuki and Ran’cho, and works by Tsuruga Tsuru~

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Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo

(from the printed program, February 25, 2018, student recital) The year flew by, didn’t it. It’s again the season for the first performance of the year. Last year, my health deteriorated, and I took some time off to get back into shape. Even so, I was active, presenting a recital and performing in v~

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Greeting from Tsuruga Wakasanojo

(From the printed program, Tsuruga Wakasanojo Shinnai Concert, held in Kioi Hall, Tokyo, November 29, 2017) Only one month is left in this year. I would like to express my sincere thanks for your continuing support again this year. It has been a difficult year, both domestically and overseas. I sinc~

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Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo

(from the printed program, Sept. 3, 2017, Yukata Kai) Thank you very much for coming to today’s Yukata Kai, despite the hot weather. It’s already September, so there’s not much time left for summerlike days. My students give a concert twice every year, but this time, the program is particularly colo~

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Angry Nature

(From the printed program, Shinnai Association-sponsored July 30, 2017, concert) Floods due to torrential rains have produced heavy damage in various parts of Japan, and the lives of many people were affected. Especially in Kyushu, people had a difficult time because an earthquake that caused extens~

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Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo

(from the printed program, March 4, 2017, student recital) Pleasant days with mild spring temperatures have ben continuing. There seems to be a lot of turbulence in the world. Please join us this afternoon for an experience of the special character of Edo Period Japan. Having shinnai as a hobby demo~

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Welcome Message

From the printed program for the concert in honor of the 300th Anniversary of the Birth of Tsuruga Wakasanojo I, and Ceremony in honor of Tsuruga Isekichi becoming iemoto of the Bunke branch of the Tsuruga school of shinnai, November 20, 2016 This year is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Tsurug~

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Creating New Shinnai Works

Tsuruga Wakasanojo, President, Shinnai Association It is sad but true that the traditional cultural arts of Japan are disappearing. This is well known. Among those traditional arts are the musical performing arts. For a long time, people have worried that those arts will become extinct. Some people ~

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Tsuruga Wakasanojo Shinnai Yukata Kai 2016

Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo This summer was exciting because of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, wasn’t it. I was encouraged by the Japanese athletes’ performance. The fragrance of summer is lingering into September. Thank you for coming today despite the heat. On November 20, I will hold a spe~

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The Sounds of Summer in Japan

Tsuruga Wakasanojo, President, Shinnai Association The Summer Olympic Games are now being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Watching the Japanese athletes, I’ve fluctuated between joy and disappointment, but I’ve cheered for them even in the midst of the summer heat of Tokyo. Because Brazil is in the ~

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Sakura, Ume, Momo, and Sumomo

Tsuruga Wakasanojo, President of the Shinnai Association Spring, with its gentle breezes, has arrived. Nature has changed its attire from cold winter to pleasant spring. One by one, the flowering trees are beginning to bloom, starting with ume (Japanese apricot), then momo (peach), sumomo (Japanese ~

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Creating New Shinnai Works

Tsuruga Wakasanojo, Chairman, Shinnai Association The sad fact that the traditional cultural arts of Japan are disappearing is well known. The performance of Japanese traditional music is one of the arts that is disappearing. Concern about that has been expressed for a long time. Although some peopl~

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Greeting

Tsuruga Wakasanojo, Sponsor of this concert November was warm this year. I hope that you are in good health and ready for the busy year-end period. Thank you very much for your generous continuing support. This year was another tough year, with many unfortunate incidents and natural disasters that r~

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The way of life-long training

Tsuruga Wakasanojo Chairman, Shinnai Association (from the printed program, September 27, 2015, concert) People say, “In life, there are good times and bad”, and “Comfort is a source of discomfort, and discomfort is a source of comfort”. If we tolerate discomfort and continue to make an effort, soon~

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Welcoming the End of the Year

(from the printed program, December 6, 2015, concert) This year was a milestone year in many respects. If the Showa Era had continued, this would have been the 90th year of that era. It is also 70 years since the end of World War II. All over the world, there were many disasters, accidents, and vari~

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Rakugo and Me, Me and Rakugo

Tsuruga Wakasanojo The first time I heard rakugo was on the radio, when I was in the fifth grade of elementary school. It was Kokontei Shinsho V performing Awabinoshi. I remember clearly that I was so impressed that I told the story to my mother. Then, my mother asked me to tell the story to my fath~

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Tsuruga Wakasanojo Shinnai Yukata Kai 2015

A Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo (From the printed program for the September 6, 2015, student concert) Thank you very much for coming today. This past summer, the terrible heat continued day after day. Somehow, I survived without succumbing to exhaustion from the heat. Looking back over the past ye~

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Lessons in Summer’s Heat and Winter’s Cold

(From the printed program, August 2, 2015, concert) Since the end of the rainy season, it has been terribly hot everywhere on the Japanese archipelago. In the past, there was a special expression that referred to taking lessons at the worst times of the year: “lessons in summer’s intense heat and wi~

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Shinnai Overseas Performance Tours: France (3)

Bordeaux, the City of Wine, Drunk on Shinnai After a comfortable train trip through an unchanging rural landscape, we arrived in Bordeaux. The hotel was located near the train station, which was convenient. The rooms and other facilities, and also the hotel staff, were about the same quality as in P~

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Shinnai Overseas Performance Tours: France (2)

Under Paris Skies: The Sound of Shinnai Flowing Through Paris When we returned to Paris in November, unlike our preparatory visit in June, we took heavy clothing, expecting fairly cold weather. This time, our hosts picked us up at the airport with a medium-sized bus, and we arrived in central Paris ~

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Shinnai Overseas Performance Tours: France (1)

Under Paris Skies: The Sound of Shinnai Flowing Through Paris I went to Paris in June, 2014, for the first time in ten years. The purpose of the trip was to plan and make arrangements for my performance tour of France that was scheduled for the following November. I was accompanied by Ms. Kihi Hanay~

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Inauguration of the Group of Special Advisers for Cultural Exchange

(From the printed program of the April 22, 2015, concert by former Special Advisers for Cultural Exchange) After the Agency for Cultural Affairs designated us as Special Advisers for Cultural Exchange, each of us visited many places abroad in order to promote our individual missions. When we who had~

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Concerns About the Future of Shinnai

(From the printed program, March 29, 2015, concert) This year, cold temperatures continued unusually long into Spring, but at last the sakura (cherry blossom) front is moving north, and the Japanese archipelago is taking on beautiful colors. Until a few years ago, when I visited the northern part of~

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Revival of Shinnai in a Milestone Year

(From the printed program, February 28, 2015, concert) If the Showa calendar were continuing now, this would be the 90th year in the Showa system. Furthermore, it is a milestone year, because this year marks 70 years since the end of World War II. Triggered by its defeat in the war, great changes ha~

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Greetings

(From the printed program, February 1, 2015, Traditional Japanese Culture Class for Parents and Children) Japan, unlike every other country in the world, does not treat its own traditional entertainment, particularly traditional music, as important. That’s sad and miserable, isn’t it? It’s also emba~

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Hectic December…

(From the Printed Program , December 7, 2014) In the past, people used to be very busy at the end of the year, settling their accounts. However, these days, this custom seems to have faded away. This may be because the national and corporate fiscal years no longer end at the end of the calendar year~

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Greetings from the Sponsor of this Performance

(From the Printed Program of the October 26, 2014, Concert Introducing New Shinnai Natori) Tsuruga Wakasanojo A good season has arrived, and the mountains are covered with gorgeous fall colors. I am delighted that you are here with us today. Thank you very much for your support of our shinnai events~

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Music is vibrating energy

(From the printed program, September 21, 2014) Since music is a matter of listening, it comes into the body through the ears and, affecting the five senses, it reaches the hearts and minds of the listeners. Shamisen music, too, comes into the body through the ears, is recognized as sound, and, as a ~

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Japan is a Country with Abundant Water

(From the printed program, August 3, 2014) It’s as if the Japanese archipelago is tortured by water. There is a spring rainy season (natane tsuyu in Japanese), and, after that, another rainy season (tsuyu) in June, typhoons in the summer, an autumn rain front, and snow in the winter. However, ~

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Temporary flowers and genuine flowers

(from the printed program, March 23, 2014) The Olympic Games, a sports festival occurring once every four years, have come to a spectacular conclusion. People used to say that it was meaningful simply to participate in the Olympics, but it seems to me that that has changed these days, so that what i~

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Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo

(From the printed program at the March 1, 2014, recital of his students) Thank you very much for coming today. We had a lot of snow, didn’t we. I had to work diligently to shovel snow for the first time in a long time. This year, for the first time in 5 years, I will introduce new natori at a ~

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Learning from the virtuosity of skilled master performers

Tsuruga Wakasanojo, Chairman of the Shinnai Association (From the printed program, September 29, 2013) My favorite performing arts, besides Shinnai, are gidayu and rakugo. Among the various types of shamisen music, gidayu is said to be the leader. Gidayu music is truly wonderful, outstanding joururi~

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Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo

(From the printed program at the September 7, 2013, recital of his students) Thank you very much for coming today. It was terribly hot this summer. Despite the intense heat, were you OK? Somehow I got through it, getting energy from shinnai-related activities. As I had no overseas performances this ~

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The Rainy Season, Hydrangeas, and Tanabata

Comments by Wakasanojo from the Printed Program (July 7, 2013, Shinnai Godo Kenshu Concert, Kagurazaka Theater) Now, in the middle of the year, it is the rainy season, the season when hydrangeas are in bloom. Don’t complain that it is too damp and too annoying. We should be very grateful for t~

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Report on Performances in Poland and Latvia in 2012

(from “Hogaku no Tomo”, January 2013) Last year, just after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, I performed in Poland. There’s a report of that trip in “Hogaku no Tomo” and also in this blog (see the entries dated March 31 through April 5, 2011 below). One resu~

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Comments by Tsuruga Wakasanojo from the Printed Program

(December 22, 2012, Tsuruga Wakasanojo Shinnai Recital, Kioi Hall) Stepping aside from my busy life, this year, too, I went overseas to perform in three countries: Poland and Latvia in July, and Singapore in November. Because both of those trips were made not at the request of the government of thos~

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Comments by Wakasanojo from the Printed Program

(December 2, 2012, Shinnai Godo Kenshu Concert, Kagurazaka Theater) Already there is only one month left in this year. There have been many notable events this past year, both domestically and overseas. To balance various harsh and sad news, some good news relates to the development of iPS cells by ~

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Comments by Wakasanojo from the Printed Program

(September 18, 2012, Concert by New Shinnai Professionals) This year, the late summer heat was very severe, and it lasted a long time. Even though I like summer, it was too much for me. I remember that it was like this last year, too. Maybe it is a result of global warming. But there are some scient~

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A Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo

A Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo From the Program Notes for the September 2, 2012, Yukata Kai Thank you for coming today in such hot weather. This year, everyone has been fussing: “It’s hot! It’s hot!” But summer is my favorite season. The sun is always shining brightly. The~

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Tsuruga Wakasanojo is selling special yukata material!!

It is hot these days, isn’t it! The performances in Poland and Latvia were a big success. Later, I’ll write about them for this blog. This year, for the first time in a long time, I decided to design a new yukata pattern for my students. The material is indigo in color. As you can see in~

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Showing is Better than Telling

Best wishes for your health in this hot season. In the past, people probably practiced every day. That must have been very hard work for both the teacher and the students. Teachers had to know many pieces. If they didn’t, they’d soon run out of material and would have nothing more to tea~

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Sachiko Kobayashi and Tsuruga Wakasanojo

May 27, 2012, Television Program Recently, I’ve been interviewed a lot on TV. This time, the program I was interviewed for is a talk show hosted by a famous enka star, Sachiko Kobayashi. For this program, well-known people in various fields choose someone they want to meet and have a productiv~

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鶴賀若狭掾 インターネットテレビに出演

フジTV系のインターネットテレビに鶴賀若狭掾が出演しています。 「大杉 漣の連写でGO」 神楽坂編 ④ http://misanga.fujitv.co.jp/episode/479 俳優の大杉 漣さんが神楽坂を散策する中で若狭掾の稽古場を訪ねて新内についておしゃべりする風景が紹介されています。 どうぞご覧ください。

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Essay by Wakasanojo from the concert program

March 28 Concert by the Next Generation of Shinnai Professionals The Serious Struggles of Traditional Japanese Performance We traditional performers have been worried for a long time about the future of traditional Japanese music, because all of the genres lack successors. The extent of the crisis r~

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A Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo

A Message from Tsuruga Wakasanojo (From the program notes for the February 26, 2012, student concert) The cold weather this winter reminds me of how cold it used to be in the past. Last year, I performed with the Kuruma Ningyo Troupe in the three Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Jap~

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Tsuruga Wakasanojo XI on NHK Television

Date: Friday, January 27, 2012 Time: 10:15 p.m. to 10:58 p.m. Channel: NHK-E (Educational TV, Channel 2) Program: “Try a Taste of Shinnai” Selections from two classic shinnai works: – Ran’cho – Akegarasu Yume Awayuki Performers: Joruri: Tsuruga Wakasanojo XI Shamisen: S~

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Comments by Tsuruga Wakasanojo XI

(From the Program of Recital December 18, 2011) There are only two weeks left in this year, which has been an ordeal for Japan. During the national crises, I was in foreign countries, in order to perform shinnai. I went to Poland in March, just after the great earthquake and tsunami hit the Tohoku a~

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Shinnai Association-sponsored concert

A Year of Natural and Man-Made Disasters (Comments from the program of a Shinnai Association-sponsored concert December 4, 2011 ) There is only one month left in 2011. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all of you who love shinnai and provide great support to our shinnai events. This was a ~

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Tsuruga Isejiro’s Diary “Our Guide in Auschwitz”

I am Tsuruga Isejiro. I want to introduce myself a little for people who don’t know me. I am a student (deshi) of Tsuruga Wakasanojo shishou whose web site this is, and a shinnai performer. My shishou has written a four-part essay in this blog about the performance in Poland and the disasters ~

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The Massive Disaster in Japan and Performing in Poland (4)

By the time I was writing this fourth part, I’d returned to Japan and recovered from jet lag. I am still thinking seriously about what I can do for the victims of the great disaster, and what kind of action I should take. Both the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Japan Council of Performers~

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The Massive Disaster in Japan and Performing in Poland (3)

The Director of the Manggha Museum and her staff decided to set up a donation box to raise funds for the victims of the great disasters in Japan. Approximately 300,000 yen (more than US$3,600) was collected. Most of the members of the audience were university students and young people, so it was esp~

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The Massive Disaster in Japan and Performing in Poland (2)

Krakow is 300 kilometers south of Warsaw. It’s an ancient city, similar to Kyoto. Soon after we arrived at our hotel, we went by car to Auschwitz. Before this trip to Poland, I had asked especially to have a chance to see Auschwitz. At Auschwitz, we saw that, even now, buildings where the geno~

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The Massive Disaster in Japan and Performing in Poland (1)

Grief comes suddenly. We tend to forget past natural disasters. No! Japanese never forget. Japan is a country of disasters. Every year, every year, there are earthquakes, typhoons, and floods in many parts of the country. But this time, the disaster was more enormous than anyone could have imagined,~

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I’m going to go to Poland to perform.

From March 13 to March 20, I’ll be in Poland for performances. In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth, many competitions and other musical events are being held there. We were invited by the Japanese Embassy in Poland. Our concerts will be a good opportunity to intro~

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Yesterday was Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day has a much warmer image than Father’s Day, I think. Everyone has a mother, everyone had a mother. I had a wonderful mother. From my birth, we were never separated. We always lived in the same house. However, suddenly, when she was 79 years o~

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