Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Whip My Hair Back & Forth: Kabuki & The Kyoto Tower

I have an unholy amount of work to do this week, so why not post a blog entry instead! I'm such a good student :) (I seriously worked on homework stuffs today though, so I'll do more after this lol)

So Saturday my class and I gaijin-smashed our way to Minami-za, the Kabuki Theater in Kyoto. I was a bit wary, considering the show we were seeing was based on a Noh play. Fortunately, this play was not 5 hours long, and was a nice 2. I like 2. The first half wasn't even a show; it was a sort of "Kabuki for Beginners" thing. From what I took of it, they showed us how the stage worked and the trapdoors and the costumes and things. However, he said a bunch of things in Japanese that I'm sure were really interesting, and I wish I understood them. However, I am used to this. The people who were sitting behind me however, were not happy. Silly gaijin.

(PS, seating in a Kabuki theater? Not assigned; they open the doors and you fight people. It was like Black Friday; we got some decent ones on the ground floor, but they were by no means the best)
The actual kabuki show we saw was a million times better than the Noh one. Sweet goodness was it better. It was about this story where a lion pushes his son off a cliff to test his skill, and the baby lion sees his dad is worried and climbs back up. It was based off a Noh play so there was no cool stage work, just a pine tree in the background. Boo. But the music was awesome, 5 shamisens playing in unison. I don’t want to compare a shamisen solo to a cooler banjo, but that’s seriously what it reminded me off.  Anyway, after a random (still funny) banter between to Buddhist monks about how to ward off the lions, the father and son actors come back on stage dressed in awesome lion costumes, complete with epic manes….which they proceed to whip around crazily. I would pass out from dizziness I tell you. This video doesn’t do it justice, but seriously, crazy hair whipping.

Oh here’s pictures from the day, I couldn’t take any of the performance and it was hard to be sneaky haha.

Afterwards we found a teeeeeeeeny food place to eat delicious gyoza and …crab? Omu rice? Not sure (Omu Rice: Omelet filled with omelet things and rice, very delicious and filling). Then, I set out to go to Kyoto Tower, because hell, I was already in Kyoto, why not? I would go hit up some temples, but they were all closed by then. So I asked someone which bus to take (it’s the station, it can’t be that difficult) and headed towards Kyoto Station! (PS, on the way to the station, I ran into my other lecture teacher, not the one who took us on this field trip…crazy!)

….I had no idea how huge Kyoto Station was. Seriously. HUGE. Jesus. After closing my open jaw, I turned around and headed for the big tower-looking object (I love how easy it is to find those, haha) It was on top of a building, so it took a minute for me to get in and to the top, but it was very nice to see all the temples mixed in with the modern-day Kyoto. (I also spied a giant Buddha in the distance…need to check that place out)

Time to go home! I forgot to write down which trains to take! Oops. But no worries, I took the Shinkansen out of here before; I just take that route backwards, right? Easy! SURE, except I had to find said route in the HUGE TRAIN STATION. I was pointed in the correct directions, and I followed signs, but I could not find it for the life of me. Finally, I said screw the English and followed the kanji. Glad I did; it turns out in the hallway they changed the translation, I don’t know why. THEN I found the correct train. No fair people.

So this week has a lot of school work in it. Yay. But I did some of it! Check it out:

I made this for class!


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