IHJ Art Programs/ Concerts 2007

IHJ Japanese Music Series Vol.4 
Edo Sato Kagura: Dance and Music for the Masses

  • Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 7:00 pm
    Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall
    Performers: Gennosuke Matsumoto
    Performers:(The 4th Iemoto of Haji school, Edo Sato Kagura), others
  • Admission: Regular Rate: 3,500 yen Discount Rate* 3,000円 *Discount rates are applicable for IHJ members.
  • Language: English and Japanese

Kagura (“music for the gods”) is one of Japan’s oldest performing arts, with origins reaching back into ancient Shinto legends. Offertory kagura is still performed by priests and priestesses in Japan’s large shrines, but sato kagura is a version of kagura for the common folk by the common folk. Based in Japanese mythology, sato kagura is performed at festivals or other ceremonial occasions and includes lively dance, music and pantomime. Once prevalent throughout the country, there remain few places, especially in urban areas, where one can enjoy this wonderful and refreshing art form. The Edo Sato Kagura, Haji School, directed by headmaster Gennosuke Matsumoto IV, will perform at the I-House as part of our Traditional Music Series. Explanations will be in both English and Japanese.

IHJ Artists’ Forum
Brenda Wong Aoki and Tony D’Souza Present their Works:
“Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend” and “Whiteman”

  • Date: Friday, October. 26, 2007 7PM
  • Venue: IHJ Lecture Hall
  • Language: English with consecutive translation
  • Admission: Free

Brenda Wong Aoki and Tony D’Souza, presently in Japan as recipients of the Japan-US Creative Artists Exchange Program, will present their respective works at this IHJ/ US Embassy sponsored Artists’ Forum.

Brenda will present excerpts from her signature work, Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend. The presentation will be partly performed, accompanied by an original score composed and performed by Mark Izu (also presently in Japan on the JUSFC Fellowship). Brenda’s work is based on the true story
of her great uncle’s marriage to a Caucasian woman in San Francisco, at a time when such marriages were illegal. Uncle Gunjiro’s Girlfriend tells the tale of their epic love and its impact on descendants three generations later.

Tony will read from his recently published novel, “Whiteman,” an extraordinary debut novel about a maverick American relief worker deep in the West African bush. Against a backdrop of bloody sectarian conflict and vibrant African life, the American Jack and his village guardian, Mamadou, learn that hate knows no color, that true heroism waits for us where we least expect it. Tony will also read excerpts from his journals in Hokkaido, where he is studying the Ainu culture.

IHJ Japanese Culture Series
Mon-koh: Quietly Listening to Incense

  • Date: Tue. October 23
  • Time: 2:30-4:30pm / 6:30-8:30pm
  • Venue: Seminar Room D, International House of Japan
  • Facilitator: Eriyo Watanabe
  • Fee: 5,000 yen (4,000 yen for IHJ members)

  • Language: English/ Japanese
  • Capacity: 12 people each (First-come, first served)

Kodo is the art and philosophy of incense, ranked among the classical arts of Japan such as Sado (the way of tea) and Kado (the way of flowers). In this program, Eriyo Watanabe will guide us through her variation of the Kodo art, Mon-koh.

The Mon-koh ceremony stresses “listening” to incense instead of just “smelling” it. Mon-koh enhances one’s sensibility and mindfulness toward the fragrance of the incense and its material. In this workshop, Eriyo Watanabe will provide an outline on the history and use of incense in
Japan, followed by a session of Mon-koh. This session will focus on “listening” to incense as a meditation, and experiencing a sense of unity and transcendence of the mundane. Like many of the Japanese traditional arts, one goal of Mon-koh is to free the spirit and foster an awareness of gratitude toward the world.

Eriyo Watanabe

渡辺えり代渡辺えり代 (www.arts-wellness.com) Director of Center for Arts and Wellness, Watanabe holds a Master’s degree from Lesley University. She offers private sessions, workshops in various Asian art forms and training/lecture programs in expressive arts therapy.

Bulgarian Chorus Concert
The Quartet Slavey

The crystalline voices of the Bulgarian women’s quartet, Slavey, will resound at the International House of Japan. Bulgaria, at the crossroads between East and West, is a gathering place for numerous ethnic groups, both Asian and European. Within this creative mixture, the Bulgarian women’s choruses are known for their dynamic rhythms, elegant, powerful melodies and mysterious harmonies which bridge the musical sensibilities of both the orient and occident. The Slavey chorus includes the Bulgarian National Treasure Nadka Karadzhova and Mariana Pavlova, known for her exceptionally low and resonant voice. The singers will be accompanied by two musicians performing on ethnic instruments, The IHJ concert will feature a number of Bulgarian folk songs plus a demonstration of musical techniques and an introduction to the Bulgarian culture.

  • Date &Time: September 18, 2007, 7:00 pm
    Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan
    Admission: 3500 yen (*Discount Rate: 2500 yen)
    *Discount rates are applicable for IHJ members and students.
    Slavey chorus: Nadka Karadzhova, Svetla Karadzhova, Lilyana Galevska,
    Mariana Pavlova
    Language: Japanese/English/Bulgarian

    This program is co-hosted by the I-House and Bugei-sha, with support from the Republic of Bulgarian Embassy in Japan.

IHJ Artists’ Forum: documentary film showing, directors’ introduction and live koto performance by Curtis Patterson and Tomoe Obata.
Magnificent Obsession: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buildings and Legacy in Japan

The great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright called Japan “the mostromantic, most beautiful” country on earth. During the 6 years he resided in Tokyo (1917-1922), he designed some 14 buildings,including the legendary Imperial Hotel. Through rare and unseen footage, hundreds of images and interviews with specialists, Magnificent Obsession illuminates Wright’s creative process and reveals the depth of his impact on Japan. 

Produced and Directed by Karen Severns and Koichi Mori
Music Director Curtis James Patterson
Narrated by Masato Harada
Running Time: 92 mins.

Imperial Hotel (1923)
  • Guests: Karen Severns, Koichi Mori (Directors)
  • Date & Time: July 27 (Fri) 6:00 pm
  • Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall
  • Language: Japanese
  • Admission: Free (reservations requested)
  • This program is co-sponsored by the US Embassy.
  • For more information or reservations call or e-mail the International House of Japan, Program Office
  • 03-3470-3211 (Mon-Fri, 9:00-17:00)

Left) Directors: Mori and Severns Right) Patterson (Music Director, koto)