Ice Cream Expo
7/23/2005, Traditional play with kids, Clementine, bossa nova concert with Akemi
I had two fun things today.
Traditional play with Japanese kids (Mukashi Asobi)
In the morning, I went to a community event organized by the wife of one of the teachers I teach with. It's called "Mukashi Asobi" which means old play or traditional play. Old Japanese people come and teach various games and traditional play activites to kids around 5 to 10 years old. It's all Japanese play. It has nothing to do with English or foreigners or anything foreign. I went as a volunteer. Actually, I've done this a couple times in the past in January 2005 and in October 2004. This one was similar to the past, except that I was the only foreigner this time and that I got more pictures this time. Actually, my co-worker took all of these pictures.
|An old man teaches kids how to make their own helicopter toys to play with.|
|Playing with string. This is similar to what we call "cat's cradle".|
|Here, people are doing more games with loops of string. I tried to learn, but it was surprisingly difficult to get it right.|
|Playing with loops of string.|
|First steps (or tosses) at juggling.|
|A game where you try to smash a water melon with a bamboo pole while wearing a blindfold. It's like a Japanese version of a piÑada, if you will.|
|Mom helps with the Japanese piÑada.|
|Next up to bat.|
|It's over when the watermelon splits into two. Then everybody eats the watermelon. There was a lot more watermelon than people could eat, so I had the privilege of stuffing myself to the gills with all of the leftover watermelon. Even then, we couldn't finish it all. They had quite a bit.|
|This summertime activity was really great. They cut a big bamboo pole in half. Somebody stands at one end and pours water and cooked somen (thin wheat noodles) down it. You have to pick out the noodles with your chopsticks as they come down. Somebody stands at the other end to catch whatever noodles weren't caught by eaters. The noodles are cold and delicious. It's really great.|
|I gorged myself here, too.|
|I guess the kids went first, but by the time I got there, it was mostly the volunteers having a treat.|
|In the end, as my only real work, I helped them take down the tents.|
Clementine bossa nova concert with Akemi at the Osaka Blue Note jazz club
By chance, I found that one of Akemi's favorite bossa nova musicians, Clementine, would be at Osaka's premiere jazz venue, the Osaka Blue Note. So, I took here to the show. Just a few impressions. First, Clementine is a great musical director. The choice of songs was fresh. No "Girl From Ipanema" or anything overdone like that. There was very little that I had heard before, yet it was all very good. And, I got the feeling the Clementine made most or all of the artistic decisions about the show herself. This was my first time at the Osaka Blue Note. The charge is pretty expensive. But, it's a really nice club. There are no bad seats in the house. It sounds really good. It's dark. I've heard musicians like playing there, which is important. And, they seem to go out of their way to make it a good experience. Good service and such. They block cell phone signals inside the club. The bar sucks. They have all kinds of exotic liquor from all over the world. So, I thought I could get something interesting. The guy had never heard of a "White Russian". He said he could make me a Martini, but it would cost extra and he had no olives. Boo. How about a Manhatten? Sure, but it will cost extra and there are no cherries. How dumb. Clearly, the fancy liquor on the shelf is just for show. But, as for show, we saw a good one.
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