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 the moisture that the rainy season brings to Japan. Ahead of the intense summer heat that is to come, the pooled water in the rice paddies makes it possible for rice–the main food in Japan–to grow. Moreover, this water is a valuable resource that is essential for our lives.

The typhoons of autumn and the snows of winter also contribute to create a rich country and foster the true spirit of Japan. From this combination of climate and geography were born the cultural arts of Japan.

Shinnai, with its delicate, vivacious, and beautiful music, is one of those arts. Together with other professional performers and with amateurs, with everyone who loves to hear shinnai, I want to convey this rich tradition to future generations.

Today is July 7, so this evening is the Tanabata (Star) Festival, a festival that has been celebrated for a long time, starting with the aristocracy in the Nara Period. This is the one night in the year when the two stars, Altair and Vega, which are usually separated by the Milky Way, meet in the heavens. Because it is said that if, at Tanabata time, women pray that their arts will improve, their wishes will come true, let’s pray. But what about men?

Tsuruga Wakasanojo
Chairman, Shinnai Association

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