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 Tsurukichi II and Fujimatsu Rochu, have continued to be performed up to the present day. These wonderful classic works remain in the shinnai repertoire even after this long period of time.
When I think about how the tradition of shinnai will continue in the future, I realize that new works are needed that are easy to listen to and enjoyable for modern audiences. Young shinnai performers should energetically create beautiful, attractive works that maintain the spirit of shinnai and do not spoil its character. In order to disseminate broadly an awareness of shinnai and attract new fans, they should challenge themselves to break new ground, pioneering not only in joururi works, but also with works that include dance and drama. This does not mean that they should pander to the public, but rather that, through trial and error, they should create works that contemporary audiences can relate to.
This is exactly in the spirit of the saying, “By studying old things, one finds ways to innovate”.
Young shinnai professionals are few and they may face hardships, but their effort in the face of difficult situations will give them the opportunity to grow and become wonderful artists, as plum blossoms’ sweet fragrance follows bitter winter.
Both young and old performers will work hard together for shinnai.
I look forward to shinnai fans’ continued strong support and encouragement.
Thank you very much.

Tsuruga Wakasanojo
Chairman, Shinnai Association

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