Yesterday we watched this famous 日本舞踊 kabuki dance.
Carnegie Hall in New York City, USA is currently having a festival of Japanese arts and culture that they call “JapanNYC” from 2011 March 14th until 2011 April 9th.
Some may feel that they should have canceled the event after the earthquake struck the Sendai area of Japan on 2011 March 11th…but Carnegie Hall decided to continue with the planned Japan festival in honor of the earthquake victims:
Everyone at Carnegie Hall was deeply saddened to hear the news of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on Friday. While plans for our JapanNYC festival proceed, we offer our thoughts and prayers to those affected. At this incredibly difficult time, we feel it is particularly important to pay tribute to Japan and its people through these festival events.
–Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, NYC
If you’re in the New York City area from now and April 9, you should consider checking out some of this event.
I’ve never seen a “Japan festival” in America but this one looks interesting. Among the scheduled events, they will have Taiko Drumming, Noh Theater and concerts led by the famous Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa.
Here’s a promotion video for the event:
I’m not an expert on art by any means.
My tastes might be considered “low brow”.
I listen to heavy metal music, my favorite TV shows aren’t really educational or anything, and I don’t see the appeal of “over-rated” movies such as “Lost In Translation“, “Forrest Gump” and “The Lord Of The Rings“…those movies were all boring to me.
The movies I like are more exciting.
And I don’t feel comfortable eating in “four star” fancy restaurants…I prefer a simple 「居酒屋」 (Japanese izakaya “blue collar” type restaurant).
Even though I may be a “simple man” I can appreciate art sometimes.
I have never attended an opera or even a musical on stage, but I have watched 歌舞伎 (Kabuki) plays and sometimes I go to art exhibits at museums.
I have seen a number of 浮世絵 (Ukiyoe Japanese woodblock prints) exhibits…and yesterday, my wife and I went to 渋谷 (Shibuya, Tokyo) to see the 「モネとジヴェルニーの画家たち」 (“Claude Monet and the Giverny Artists”) exhibit.
It’s at the “Bunkamura Museum” in Shibuya, Tokyo until 2011 February 17th.
I learned that Claude Monet moved to a tiny French village called Giverny and painted the natural views that he saw there. And his work inspired many artists from other countries, but the vast majority were Americans, to go to Giverny and set up an “artist colony” there to learn from Monet.
Also, Monet was inspired by Japanese art (other famous Western artists, including Vincent Van Gogh, were too) and he had a collection of Japanese Ukiyoe prints.
Are you interested in art? Monet? Ukiyoe?
How about your taste in food, movies, music, etc?
Yesterday was 冬至 (Winter Solstice). In Japan, many people eat pumpkin and take a bath with Yuzu fruit to prevent catching a cold.
Click here to read a post I wrote with more detail about this Japanese tradition.
Today is a holiday in Japan. It’s 天皇誕生日 (the Emperor of Japan’s birthday). He’s 77 years old now.
This is one of the two days of the year that the public are invited into the Emperor’s Palace grounds to see him and listen to his speech.
Click here to read my FAQ about it.
Anyways, every year the Mitsukoshi Department Store in 銀座 (Ginza, Tokyo) has an exhibit of press photos of the biggest news stories of the year.
We often go to see it. And we went to this year’s exhibit today.
It was quite good, as usual. There were nearly 300 photos that showed many big events of this year…from the World Cup and the Olympics to the miners rescue in Chile.
Of course, there was photos of the closing of the Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.
Click here to read my post about this famous theater’s closing (with photo that I took).
If you’re in Tokyo you should check out this exhibit. It’s free of charge and runs until Sunday (2010 December 26).
All photos in this post are from the Mitsukoshi 2010 Press Photo Exhibit website.
About eighteen months ago I wrote a post about the planned renovation of the historic 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theatre) in the 銀座 (Ginza) area of Tokyo.
(Click here to read that post.)
Well, as I mentioned in that post in 2008, the Kabuki Theatre is scheduled to be torn down on 2010 April 30 and rebuilt in a more “modern” design. (I think that’s too bad. “Kabuki” is a old traditional Japanese art…so the theater should be a traditional Japanese design—like it currently is).
It’s already April 2010. The theater will be torn down in less than two weeks! Time goes by fast.
So, I had an errand in the Ginza area yesterday so I brought my camera to take some photos of the 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theatre) before it’s demolished.
While I was in the Ginza area I decided to take photos of the Seibu Department Store since that iconic store will be closing it’s branch in Ginza later this year due to high overhead costs mainly stemming from the expensive rent for property in the exclusive Ginza area.
(I wrote about this story on an earlier post. Click here to read it.)
Unlike the Kabuki Theatre, the building that the Seibu Store is in won’t be demolished.
The Seibu Department Store is simply leaving the Ginza area after occupying that property for over 26 years.
As I mentioned in the earlier post, the rent that the Seibu Department Store pays in the highest in the world.
But near that building is a 交番 (police box) that is located on the most expensive property in the world per square meter.
Here are a few more photos I took in the area:
「ようこそジャパン」 (Yokoso Japan!) means “Welcome to Japan!“, and is the Japan National Tourism Organization‘s official slogan of their campaign to attract foreign visitors to Japan.
Here are some of their Yokoso Japan! campaign ads.
Most of the scenes in this first one are of Tokyo (there are a few shots of Osaka, etc…but most of it is Tokyo):
These show many parts of Japan:
Do they make you want to visit this beautiful country?
Do you know the 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theater) in Tokyo? Have you ever been to this theater?
Of course, you know what 歌舞伎 (Kabuki) is…right?
A traditional Japanese performance that is mostly recognized by the white face paint that the actors wear (often decorated with designs in other colors…commonly black and red).
Well, the famous 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theater), which is in 銀座 (Ginza, Tokyo), is scheduled to be demolished in April 2010! This is because the building, which is a Tokyo landmark, is old and the government feels that it’s time for it to be rebuilt…for safety reasons.
Many people are petitioning the government to save the 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theater).
I have seen 歌舞伎 (Kabuki) years ago. I guess I need to go watch it again before 2010, so I can see inside the 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theater) one last time!
And then…do you know 歌舞伎町 (Kabukicho, Tokyo)?
Despite the similar names, 歌舞伎町 (Kabukicho, Tokyo) has nothing to do with the 歌舞伎座 (Kabuki Theater) or 歌舞伎 (Kabuki) in general.
歌舞伎町 (Kabukicho) is the seedy section of 新宿 (Shinjuku, Tokyo).
It got the name 歌舞伎町 (Kabukicho) because after World War 2 the Tokyo government planned to build a large Kabuki theater there. But the plan was scrapped because the city didn’t have enough money in the budget back then.
The area grew into a famous red-light district (actually the Governor of Tokyo is cleaning the area up alot now).
歌舞伎町 (Kabukicho) means Kabuki Town.