Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day 33/34 - Drums and Beats and Patience

Day 33
For a break from our somewhat dizzy living room (traditional Japanese houses have only little windows in the front and in the back), we decided to take our daily work outside. My father with his laptop and me with my Italian language course booklet needed a little to secure one of the few benches along the Philosopher's Walk, close to our rental house. After some time, while I was shortly speaking to my father, an elderly Japanese man walked by and I saw from the corner of my eye that he turned towards us - Hello! How are you? - and another warm conversation started, mostly about the past folk festivals, especially the Daimonji-fire, about culture, shodo, seasons, people... Before he left, he surprised us with a little gift, two origami cranes in blue and pink that his wife had folded.

In the evening we attended one of the "temple dances" that are held from time to time at local shrines.

Some impressions of the "temple dance" which was only to a small extent a dance, but mostly music performances by local groups. It might be compared to our church's organ concerts or children's choir performances.

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Very interesting that the performances were working like a conversation between two pairs of musicians, combating with different drums, or four musicians harmonizing in a circle - accompanied by flute whistles and plate bells. The second group seemed to follow old religious patterns that are unknown to us.  

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This is a section of a spiritual "battle" that took quite a while until all the ten persons had finished their personal solo part of about two mins... As mostly, for ritual things, a lot of patience is needed.

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Day 34

- LOVE -
The first item on our shopping list today was an additional left-hand hand splint. After having asked in a couple of smaller shops that looked like pharmacies or drug stores (who knows what kind of shops that really were), we came across the information desk of one of the bigger department stores in Kyoto. I didn't even know that something like an information desk in a department store even existed. Very kind women in colorful uniforms (that looked like flight attendants') lead us to the sports section - stoke of luck, finally. And we even bought a calligraphy set for the both of us, to practice at home ;-)

It really seems easier than it is! For example you need a support that keeps your ink from running over the entire paper... And you have to invest lots of time and be very patient to produce good, deep black ink - and not some watery liquid in various shades of dark blue to grey. It certainly was less satisfying than in our calligraphy class, because we needed to make our own ink, and not just use ink from the big bottle...

By the way, this ink has a special smell that makes you some kind of high. Our teacher mentioned that this helps to better concentrate on your work, and become more attentive to your surroundings (feel the wind, hear the sounds)...

For any teach-yourself wannabe-calligraphers, you might enjoy this youtube channel.


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