Thursday, July 24, 2008

Elementary School Jōruri Performance and Chorus Group *UPDATED* with the video of the full performance.*.

So I got an invitation to check out some of kids from one of my elementary schools giving a Jōruri performance. Which is, if you're uneducated in the ways of Japanese culture - like I am - via Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Jōruri (music), a type of sung narrative with shamisen accompaniment, typically found in Bunraku, a traditional Japanese puppet theatre."

The kids were really, really good. Talented and adorable. Japan will rule the world, clearly.

*UPDATED* with the full performance below:

As an aside, "Jōruri" is an incredibly difficult word to pronounce. It doesn't sound like you think it does, and I have it on good authority - from everyone who heard me try to say it - that you're doing it wrong.

I was going to make a joke about how all this video equipment is oh so typically Japanese, but parents are the same in the States. And who am I to talk? I was snapping vids and pics the whole time as well. Ah well, less funny but more truthful.

Apparently, the performance was in support of an awareness meeting for a future Red Cross Blood Drive [I think - interpretations by me are always at risk of being amazingly wrong].

So there were other groups/performances, including a youth chorus from the area I've seen, maybe a half dozen times by now. But have failed to every actually get their proper name, despite several Christmas and Spring Break shows I've attended. Didn't look like the full complement today, kids are always busy with a million different things here in Japan in the summer, but I was kinda surprised to notice that about half of the kids in the chorus were or are my students. Graduates, elementary school and Jr high are all represented.

And one of the numbers they did was "Do-Re-Mi." And I figured, since the Mrs forces me to sit through "The Sound of Music" EVERY. DAMN. THANKSGIVING. that it'd be worth a taping. Didn't get 100% of it, but given the lag time between realizing what they were singing and firing up the video, got most of it.

Talented kids, so here 'tis

Japanese Youth Chorus Performing Do-Re-Mi from Rob Pugh on Vimeo.

And that is an afternoon of work during summer vacation. My job, it does rocketh.

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