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 Japan, people there often said to me, “In the old days, we’d get a lot of snow, so much that it was piled up to the very eaves of our houses, but recently we’ve had a lot less snow. Maybe that’s due to global warming.” However, nowadays, it seems that people everywhere are struggling with heavy snowfalls. Nature is not stable, but rather changes periodically.
The basics of traditional music have been transmitted without change over a long period, but changes in society and the passage of time will, without our realizing it, bring a breath of fresh air into traditional music. This is a natural process, and supports the idea that “nothing is so sure as change”. However, we must continue to keep in mind the adage that “by studying the old, one becomes able to understand the new”.
So that we artists do not become an endangered species, we should make every possible effort to nurture traditional music, in order to leave a legacy for the future. I am especially concerned that young performers should always be aware that the future of shinnai rests with them, so that they continue to challenge themselves and their art from a broad point of view.
I would like to thank those who are fans of shinnai for their continuing support and cooperation.
Tsuruga Wakasanojo
President of Shinnai Association
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