東京オーレ!

Did you know that Flamenco is immensely popular in Japan? Thousands of pilgrims visit Andalusia in Spain to practice the unique Spanish art form. Many Japanese Flamenco students have returned to Japan to open dance studios where the heart-and-emotion driven dance and music style are taught and perfected. In fact, some of the world’s best Flamenco dance and music performers are Japanese.

Doña Manami (pictured) is one such student of Flamenco as well as foreign studies. She recently performed at an international festival on the outskirts of Tokyo. She sends her greetings from Kanto.

Olé!

Dona M

成人式 (関西) – [Coming of Age Day Ceremony] Part II

成人式

冬ー春ー夏ー秋 … the four seasons of life

 

Continued …

Upon bidding farewell to sweet Matsuda-san, Osaka Ali crossed the railroad tracks on his way to city hall. More brightly colored kimonos signaled to him that he wasn’t too late. Immediately he was captivated by the image of a dashing young man wearing a white kimono and golden hakama …

秋 –

Chontesei from Suita made a friendly introduction and invited O.A. to be a part of the festivities. He cajoled until he could ride the bike and get his picture taken. What, the intrepid JapanCast reporter asked, did the young man see in his future? For Chontesei-san, the answer was simple: to personally be happy, to share happiness with mankind and to care for a loving family.

冬 –

Uehara, Yamaguchi and Fujimoto are childhood friends and inseparable. Their interviewer wondered aloud if their friendship could survive into adulthood. Fujimoto-san’s ambition was to become filthy stinking rich in the inu-eat-inu world of Japanese financial firms. His steely gaze and equanimity-oozing poker face sort of convinced that he had the wherewithal to pull it off. The dame in the knockout fur and pink blossom outfit was the greatest altruist of the three; her declared future is in the hospitals and care wards of Western Japan; Yamaguchi-san aspires to be a nurse. Finally, her other escort to her right, Fujimoto-san, stood as firm as Rokko mountain. What field would he enter? He dreams of being the hero, in other words, a firefighter. Osaka Ali wished them all the best of success.

春 –

This group of young ladies didn’t want to think of tomorrow, but to enjoy their special day in a carefree moment of blissful reminiscence and fun. Cute, no?

夏 –

And then, finally,  there was the ‘wild bunch’. Ryoutarou, Daiichi, Ryusei, Dai, Shinya and Gupi have in their youth lived by the motto, ‘work hard, play hard’ (or is it ‘play hard, play harder’?). Anyway, they were tickled to be interviewed for an international audience, and wished you all peace today and in the future. They have a strong fellowship, and their only wish is to share fellowship with their countrymen and folks around the world. To prove this point, they invited Osaka Ali out to the after-party festivities that would begin in earnest that very night. Uncertain that he had the stamina to ‘play’ that ‘hard’, this writer gracefully declined [maybe ‘rainen’?].

All light-heartedness aside, the scene in front of the ceremony and the location of these interviews was made all the more poignant by the background music; an instrumental of ‘Auld Lang Syne’. It is said that there are a set of lyrics in Japanese written for the familiar New Year’s melody; but the mood in the Nihongo version is just as you may be accustomed to. This tune is played at this same ceremony in towns throughout Kansai and perhaps the rest of the country. The meaning is the same. Goodbye to ‘times gone past’, welcome to days to come.

成人式 (関西) – [Coming of Age Day Ceremony] Part I

Today is coming of age day, and Osaka Ali was on the scene at the local city hall to document the festivities. Newly minted young men in their traditional wear or western-style suits and new women in elegant kimono graced the downtown, bidding farewell to childhood and hopefully expecting what awaits them in their life as adults.

On the way, Ali met Matsuda-san, who was rushing home to a party to be held in her honor. She sends greetings from Osaka.

Seijin-1