UTM hosts Japanese dance ensemble
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 15:09
“A dynamic form of ancient Japanese dance renowned for its splendid costumes; amazing special effects; pulsating drum rhythms and melodic flute, Iwami Kagura was originally performed by Shinto priests at the yearly autumn festival as a sign of gratitude to the Shinto gods for their help in producing a bountiful harvest.”
This is how the Iwami Kagura is described on the flyers that are put up around campus.
"It is being co-presented by the Japan Foundation and the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville and UTM’s Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages," said Japanese professor Kyoko Hammond.
According to the Japan Foundation website, The Japan Foundation was established in 1972 by special legislation in the Japanese Diet and became an independent administrative institution in October 2003. The mission of the Japan Foundation is to promote international cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries.
The Japan Foundation activities, aiming for comprehensive and effective development of its international cultural exchange programs, consist of following three major categories:
1. Arts & Cultural Exchange
2. Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange
3. Japanese-Language Education Overseas
Iwami Kagura means “god-entertainment.” It is performed by the members of the Iwami Kagura Shinwa-Kai, which is part of an organization of thirteen different groups.
The group coming to UTM consists of eight dancers and four musicians. Four of the dancers; Isamu Hibi, Yutaka Hironaka, Tadamitsu Mihara, and Kiyoshi Nezumitani; each have almost 50 or more years of experience with Kagura. The other four dancers; Suguru Kirita, Ryo Maniwa, Yasuhiro Nomura, and Yuji Shimada; have more than 40 years experience combined.
Yasumi Miyazaki and Hiroki Ogawa will play drums. The former will play the Oodaiko, or a large Japanese drum, and the latter the Shime-daiko, or a small Japanese drum. Eiji Tabara will play the fue or the Japanese flute. Masato Terado will play the cymbals that will “support the distinctive Kagura rhythm”.
The Iwami Kagura performance will be in two parts starting on Sept. 19 in the ballroom in the UC. The first performance will be held at 11:30 a.m. The second part will start after a ten minute break. The admission is free and it is open to the public.