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 sincerely wish for a world in which all can have peaceful and healthy lives.
Last year, I held a special concert in honor of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Tsuruga Wakasanojo I, the originator of the shinnai genre. However, by the modern calendar, this year is the 300th year since his birth, so this evening’s concert, too, is being held in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Tsuruga Wakasanojo I.
The program includes the masterpiece Ran’cho, written by Tsuruga Wakasanojo I, and Sekitori Senryo Nobori, written by his daughter Tsuruga Tsurukichi. Ran’cho will be performed by Tsuruga Isefani, an American who has been studying shinnai for around 20 years.
Wakasanojo I could not have dreamed that an American would perform one of his works. Also, he could not have imagined that I would have performed extensively overseas with the result that people in 40 countries became acquainted with shinnai.
I think that all of that would have amazed him. Now, I guess that Wakasanojo I must be anxious about what will happen to shinnai in the future. However, so long as the world is peaceful, and truth and values remain unchanged, shinnai classical works will continue to be passed on from generation to generation.
In this evening’s concert, there will be four shinnai numbers, plus two works focusing on butterflies. In one of the latter, the life of butterflies will be portrayed by two traditional Japanese dancers; in the other, an expert in traditional sleight of hand will bring paper butterflies to life, so that they flutter in the air.
The Japanese classical performing arts are beautiful, delicate, and sorrowful, as well as colorful and glamorous.
Now, in the short time that remains before the busy year-end period, I hope that you can forget your everyday life and enjoy our shinnai concert.
Thank you very much for coming this evening.

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