The drums almost always make me cry…

It is not just the rains
But I really don’t know what spell this ‘wadaiko’ (Japanese drums) thing has on me…
Each time I witness a live wadaiko performance…
I’m almost always moved me to tears…
By tears, I mean, tears that continue to flow and flow throughout the course of the performance…

For the past 13 years, I have had the good fortune of being requested by the Japanese folks at a neighboring town to bring a handful of international students for a cooking event…

This year, I brought seven students from five countries…
They cooked up four lovely dishes while the Japanese folks presented us with some delicious local noodles and mixed sushi, all cooked from scratch…
After consuming the sumptuous meals, the town folks usually invite some group to provide entertainment…
This is third time I think, that the wadaiko troupe ‘Man Ten‘ was invited…
Now, ‘Man’ does not mean ‘man’ as in you and me, but ‘Full’…
And ‘Ten’ has got nothing to do with that number of fingers you may have…
Rather, ‘Ten’ refers to either the ‘Heavens’ or the ‘Sky’ depending on the context…
My preferred interpretation, however, of this amazing wadaiko troupe name would be ‘Heaven Full’ of Stars…
For ‘stars’ the drummers all are…
Throughout the one hour performance, they bang and slam…
They smile, they yell…
They swing, and they fly… 
Man Ten started off as a family outfit…
There was just mum, dad, and two cute little daughters…

Years down the road, the membership ballooned…

That day, I think about twenty drummers performed… 

I stood as I snapped…

The faster the tempo, the more rapid the snaps…
All the while, tears flowed on…

Look at the expression of the drummer second from left…

The smile, the features… rather clear…
Now, look at the other three drummers in flight…
The stage literally shook, blurring almost all images except the smiling drummer’s…

In the final act, as in previous occasions, the leader of Man Ten invited the seven international students to come forward…

Mere minutes later, he had the students gleefully banging in unison on a 3-3-7 rhythm…
As he spruced the routine up… dancing, Japanese fan in hand…
Exhilarating just to watch… I must say… 
Oh yes, the food…
This is the mixed sushi with compliments from the town folks…

There is always so much food there that I normally choose to bring this home to be consumed the following day… 
Cambodian style stir fry vegetables with beef slices…
I couldn’t control myself as I headed for multiple helpings…
 
The mabo-tofu, Szechuan style…
Was too engrossed with eating that I forgot taking shots of the Tomyam soup and the Vietnamese curry…
I certainly looked forward to being part of the event again next summer…
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21 thoughts on “The drums almost always make me cry…

  1. I understand – sometimes feelings swell up inside us,for reasons our inner selves only can feel that make us want to cry. It might seem out of place but only to others. I would love to watch the drummers in action myself.

  2. Keats… yeap, sometimes I just cannot explain even my own feelings…Bananaz… hmmm, you too? The wadaiko performance is really amazing… Rainfield… the atmosphere really gets into you, and we were very very close to the stage…

  3. lina… this is a very good event… you get to eat all the goodies and the town folks are super friendly…EE… Evelyn Glennie? I shall look up the you tube and see… thanks for the tip…Andrea… this is something new to me… perhaps I shall try it out one day?

  4. Wow! The drum group must be amazing to see in person. Your photos did a good job of showing the emotion and intensity, but to actually see and hear in person must be a never-to-be-forgotten moment. I'm glad you could share it with some of your students.The food looks delicious.

  5. George… you said it, there is nothing like watching a performance, live… the boom of the drums just comes all over you, engulfing you and in the process, and then simply 'shakes' your soul… it was indeed an intense and emotional experience…

  6. ♪°º✿˛♫ Olá, amigo!Passei para uma visitinha…Já assisti pela TV apresentações musicais com esses instrumentos.São alegres e cheias de malabarismos incríveis.Suas fotos são muito bonitas, você consegue captar os movimentos…Boa semana!Cheia de alegria e muita paz.Beijinhos.Brasilº°✿✿♥ ° ·.˛✿♪

  7. What an energetic performance it must be and an emotional one for you! For me it wont be tears but the hair on my neck and hand will stand…too excited! The delicious looking food are certainly a fitting end to the great performance and gathering…

  8. I would really like to watch the Japanese drums performance. I have watched the Chinese one but not the Japanese. Are you still staying in Japan?

  9. p3chandan… a truly energetic and emotional performance it was… all in all, had such a fun time with the performance and the food…Shelyn… I have yet to watch the Chinese drums at close range… wonder how I will react… yes, I am working and staying in Japan…

  10. I can understand the feelings! While we cannot express it in words, we express it in tears, with our heart almost exploding with such feelings! The wadaiko must be really something, would love to watch it myself. The food looks really delicious, I don't blame you for forgetting to take the photos of the rest! Have a nice day!

  11. kitchen flavours… thank you for putting the 'feelings' part in words… sometimes we cannot really explain such things… the wadaiko troupe members are not only very good, but they are very down to earth and humble too…

  12. What a wonderful way to enjoy this event! Whether you cry with joy or sadness, it meant that you're touched deeply.Oh the food, looks incredible and delicious.

  13. My wife loves playing the taiko.She played it at Kawagaoe festival at once.It seemed very fun.Kawagoe Festivalhttp://www.kawagoematsuri.jp/English/index.html

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