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Self-Introduction!
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janeinjapan
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PostPosted: 2014-02-12, 11:57    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

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Hello! My name is Jane and I'm a beginner shakuhachi player. I live in Japan and have been taking lessons at my local community centre for about 10 months. My class is full of oji-chans (sweet old men) and everything is in Japanese except for when my teacher points at a word in a Japanese-to-English dictionary. It's a real challenge for me, but I enjoy it!

I want to introduce myself because I plan to ask for your expert knowledge and advice!

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!
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Kiku Day
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PostPosted: 2014-02-12, 12:28    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum, Jane!
Wow that sounds like a great experience! I would really like to know more about the community centre.... Is it a volunteer teacher? How does it work?
It sounds wonderful and yes, I can imagine you will be all surrounded by ojichans!
If you have any question you are very welcome to post them in Playpen or if you want to tell us more about your experience (for me it would be wonderful if you would like to share with us), you can share them here in the Teahouse!
Anyway, great to have you here! Okay
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Eugene
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PostPosted: 2014-02-12, 13:44    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Welcome, and it is wonderful to hear this Smile

How did you find out about lessons at that community centre, and what made you so interested as to join in?
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Plume Blanche
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PostPosted: 2014-02-12, 14:38    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Hello Jane,

Welcome to this forum.

That pleases to see new inscriptions. Welcome to the novices!

I too find fabulous to have a place near you where you can take class and to be in touch with other people who play Shakuhachi.

You can discuss here with people who are of a higher level and who can certainly bring you many things.

I am a novice also but I have no professor, also I move forward more slowly and another way, and I could not discuss technique with you.

In any case, Welcome! Okay
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janeinjapan
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PostPosted: 2014-02-12, 14:48    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind greetings!

To answer some of your questions, I found out about my teacher through the culture centre in my city. I had been taking ink-wash painting classes (水墨画) but I discovered that I was no good at that. I had prepaid for 3 months of the class, so I needed to use up the credits in different class. I had watched a shakuhachi performance a few months before, and at the time, I thought I would like to try it. But when I spoke to Japanese people about learning the shakuhachi, many people told me it was too difficult, so it put me off. When the opportunity arose to take a class at the culture centre, I grabbed it because no one was there to discourage me!

So my teacher teaches both at the cultural centre and at a community centre. He's not a volunteer, but he puts in a lot of hours with his students.

Actually, yesterday was a public holiday here in Japan (National Foundation Day). My teacher's group plus two more local groups got together for a happyoukai/shinenkai. I played a few pieces with other players: Shiratori (白鳥), Rokudan no shirabe (六段の調), Soyokaze (そよ風) and Hatsune (初音), and Ai Take no Fu (会竹の賦‏). It was a pleasant day, and the enkai afterwards was fun.

When I was younger, I studied clarinet and music theory, and played in an university orchestra. So I find the fingering is not so difficult, but the embouchure is tricky. And I'm still bemused by the various head wobbles. And reading the music scores sometimes makes me dizzy. It's a long journey! I'm looking forward to sharing it with you Smile
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J. Danza
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PostPosted: 2014-02-13, 11:56    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Wow Jane... if you can get through Rokudan already you are in really good shape! Cool Congratulations!
What kind of instrument are you playing on?
Looking forward to hearing more of your experience...
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kongwee
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PostPosted: 2014-02-13, 12:01    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Hi hi!,

I think clarinet is harder to play, becos I have no stamina to play them.
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janeinjapan
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PostPosted: 2014-02-14, 12:17    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Thanks J. Danza. I have a Seika 1.8 and I am borrowing a 1.6 (I don't know the maker) but it has a Kinko utaguchi. I am currently trying to play Haru no Umi. I have to go to house of my shakuhachi teacher's koto teacher tonight to play Haru no Umi with my shakuhachi teacher playing the koto. Make sense?! Laughing

Kongwee, hi! I played the clarinet when I was younger so stamina wasn't a big problem. But because I haven't played any woodwind in a long time and I'm also unfit, my stamina on the shakuhachi is poor. (My teacher often mentions that he goes for a 1.5km swim every week, for fitness). So it's difficult for me to compare the two.
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Eugene
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PostPosted: 2014-02-14, 12:45    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

janeinjapan wrote:
I have to go to house of my shakuhachi teacher's koto teacher tonight to play Haru no Umi with my shakuhachi teacher playing the koto. Make sense?!

Very Happy And after that, your shakuhachi teacher's koto teacher will play the clarinet!
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kongwee
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PostPosted: 2014-02-17, 08:53    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

janeinjapan wrote:

Kongwee, hi! I played the clarinet when I was younger so stamina wasn't a big problem. But because I haven't played any woodwind in a long time and I'm also unfit, my stamina on the shakuhachi is poor. (My teacher often mentions that he goes for a 1.5km swim every week, for fitness). So it's difficult for me to compare the two.


I never been good to reel base wind instrument. I used to played Chinese vertical bamboo in school. Now I play shakuhachi as I have only time in the night to play wind instrument. I jog every week to keep up my health. Any exercise that pump the heart is good for wind instrument playing.
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Daniel Ryudo
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PostPosted: 2014-04-22, 16:00    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Hello Jane. Welcome to the forum. Rokudan already; a second 'wow!' I'm teaching and playing Kinko honkyoku and gaikyoku pieces down in Kochi, on Shikoku island, if you ever get down this way. We have a fun annual prefectural koto/shamisen/shakuhachi association concert with special koto and shakuhachi guests (often some of the top players in Japan) coming down from Tokyo every spring. This year it is at the prefectural art museum's concert hall on Sunday, May 25th starting at 1:30 p.m.; we have a great player of modern koto pieces, Erina Matsumura this year; (if by any chance, you are interested in trying to make it over for that I can get you a free ticket). Best of luck with your playing!
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janeinjapan
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PostPosted: 2014-04-23, 13:55    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Hi Daniel. Thanks for the friendly welcome. The concert sounds great! I would love to come, but talk about bad timing - on the same weekend, I'm attending/participating in a concert/tour organised by my teacher, on the island of Okinoshima (part of Shimane). I wish I could go to the Kochi concert, too! Please let me know if anything similar comes up, I would definitely attend. Sometimes I visit Ehime, so if I ever make it to Kochi, I'll let you know. Cheers!
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Daniel Ryudo
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PostPosted: 2014-04-26, 01:18    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Hello Jane. You're very welcome. May always seems to be a very busy month in Japan with many cultural activities going on. Enjoy your tour of Okinoshima! I'll try to remember to let you know if any other big Japanese music event comes up.
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janeinjapan
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PostPosted: 2014-06-06, 16:49    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

I want to give an update on my trip to Okinoshima islands in Shimane. I've attached a PDF file about the trip - if you can read Japanese it will tell you all about it. If you can't read Japanese, please enjoy the photos!
In total there were 26 people on the trip, including shakuhachi and koto players from Osaka and Okayama. Some local players from Chibumura island also joined in the concert. I played (as part of an ensemble) Aitake no Fu, Yamazato no Haru and Furusato. In Yamazato no Haru I also got to play percussion - triangle, castanet, bells, gong and taiko! - I think the taiko woke up the sleeping members of the audience Laughing .

The group from Osaka played Izumo Ji, which was the first time I'd heard it. I was impressed by the piece and the players' abilities.

We stayed at a local hotel and had a fancy dinner, and were entertained by local folk songs. There was a lot of seafood for dinner, then again for breakfast and then for lunch! On the second day we went sightseeing around another island, Nishinoshima, which has a dramatic coastline. It was a nice weekend and a unique experience. It was a little tiring to be immersed in Japanese for the whole weekend, but I survived!
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Daniel Ryudo
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PostPosted: 2014-06-07, 04:46    Post subject: Self-Introduction! Reply with quote

Sounds like a great trip; I've been years in Japan but still haven't managed to make it to those islands.
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