August 13, 2009

Ongaku in Motion

One of the perks of working at a university is the wide range of learning opportunities right at our doorstep. And no, they are not all dry lectures. Last month, the Ateneo de Manila's Japanese Studies Program, with the assistance of the Japan Information and Cultural Center of the Embassy of Japan, celebrated the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month with "Ongaku in Motion." Ongaku means music in Japanese. The first half of the program featured traditional Japanese music and dance. This is a koto, which is the national instrument of Japan.

Japanese koto

After several pieces of koto music, played by the Director of the Japanese Studies Program and a member of the University of the Philippines Koto Ensemble, one faculty member performed a Nihon Buyo dance. It was fascinating with its slow, exact and refined movements.

Japanese Nihon Buyo dance

Unfortunately, I couldn't stay for the second half of the program, which featured J-pop and anime music performed by the students.

23 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

Tanoshimi desu ne! The koto photo with the pink lighting is really pretty! I loved hearing the 0-koto when I taught English back in Japan from 1989 - 1991. Domo arigato gozaimashita, Hilda san!

Jacob said...

How very interesting. I know from nothing about koto music, but your photograph is stunnning!

James said...

Great pictures Hilda. That is a beautiful instrument.

Autumn Belle @ KDP said...

This is interesting, Hilda. Thanks for enriching my knowledge in Japanese arts and culture. Arigato Gozaimasu.

Buck said...

Gorgeous, simply gorgeous. I adore your photos of people and being a musician, that koto hits the spot!

George said...

I can imagine how much you enjoyed this program. I thoroughly enjoyed Chinese music and dance when I was over there. I agree with you about the great perks of working at a university (or college in my case).

Don and Krise said...

How fortunate you are. Some of the things you get to experience because of your job. That first photo really is beautiful, and in the second you can really see the peace and concentration in his eyes. Good job Hilda.

Kaori said...

Wow, I didn't know it was the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month! Thanks for letting us know! I bet they played the song 'Sakura' on the koto...am I right? :)

arabesque said...

sutekidesu ne! ^-^
i'm crazy about japanese nowadays, like your post!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is so interesting ...I really love such kind of amazing things and this is one of them..Great post..Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan

Dina said...

A beautiful shot of a beautiful instrument. Isn't amazing how from those simple strings comes such soulful music.
You are indeed lucky to be in the midst of such diverse cultural opportunities at the uni.

Olivier said...

je ne connaissais pas, magnifique et j'aime la lumiere / couleur sur l'instrument
I did not know, splendid and I like light / colour on the instrument

Vogon Poet said...

All of this is totally new to me, beautiful images and great post. A pity for the J-pop and anime music performance...

the donG said...

one of my favorite culture. nice to have it featured in ateneo.

JM said...

Both shots are great! Glad you enjoyed the show, I mean, the first part...

Lois said...

Oh Hilda, those perks are wonderful aren't they? I enjoy the same here as I work in the College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance and the College of Music is right across the street. We also have a Film School and the student produced films are fantastic. These are lovely pictures. That costume is amazing!

Frank said...

Great post. Your photos are really good and the dancer is perfect. (I lived in Japan as a boy and am still fascinated by the culture...the music can be a bit difficult to listen to at times. But it is interesting. As is the traditional clothing.)

Halcyon said...

I could not, for the life of me, figure out what that was from the thumbnails. Now it's all clear. Sorry you couldn't stay for the whole show, but it looks like what you saw was interesting.

cieldequimper said...

Oh that pink glow! The second photo is magical.

Ken Mac said...

i love koto music, so pretty and resonant.

glasgowdailyphoto said...

What beautiful photos Hilda, just magical! I don't know much traditional Japanese stuff, but I did see taiko drummers when I was in Sibiu and loved their show!
Jackie

Kim said...

Your shots are wonderful, Hilda. I love your angle on the koto and the pink lighting. I love koto music. In 8th grade our humanities teachers taught a unit on Japanese culture and brought in a koto and played it and it was love at first listen. The popular group Hiroshima uses a lot of koto in their jazz fusion music. I love seeing the costume of the dancer, too. What a great capture of him in motion, his arms at perfect level. Lucky you! Although, I bet you would have been hip to the J-pop and anime if you could have stayed. . .somehow I would think current Japanese pop culture would interest you, because you are pretty hip!

ellievellie said...

That instrument looks like a great piece of decoration - the way you captured it with the pink light!