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.

Tsuruga Ise with the hanging scroll written by Tsuruga Wakasanojo I.

Tsuruga Wakasanojo I, the founder of shinnai, wrote a message that was mounted on a hanging scroll that still exists. “There is nothing in the universe that does not have its own rhythm. Everything, such as myself, others, the nature of trees, and the sound of the wind, has own rhythm. People in olden times learned to know the cycle of the world by listening to horses’ neigh, the thunder’s roar, the song of the hototogisu [a wild bird native to Japan)]….”

The founders of both gidayu and shinnai told us that we should learn from nature by facing nature, feeling nature, and sharpening our senses. Their words suggest that, although classical works are taught by teachers, true training is through feeling empathy with the universe, having a rich sensibility, training one’s own physical and mental capability, and improving one’s artistic skill level. These words by the founders who created their own schools and whose works represent the highest creativity are very meaningful. Their profound statements are the ultimate goal of teaching not only for the joururi world but also, more generally, for the world of the cultural arts.
This year, as we start a new era with a new era name, we have a chance to think about the old days which passed quickly, reminded of the classic saying, “By studying old things, one finds ways to innovate”.
My deepest wish is to continue improving my shinnai performances, continuously moving toward an ultimately unreachable goal.
Thank you very much for coming to our performance today.

Tsuruga Wakasanojo
Chairman, Shinnai Association

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