Program Description

NOTE:

The programs in blue font require special registration. Please jump to the special registration page by clicking the blue font texts, which introduces how to register for each program.  

 

 

Radio Calisthenics or Rajio Taiso on May 22, 29 & 31

Rajio Taiso is a nationally known basic warm-up calisthenics in Japan widely performed early in the morning along with its music and instructions provided by radio broadcasts. Many Japanese know all the moves without any instruction, so only with the music they can perform Rajio Taiso. We will show you how it’s done.

 

Random Selection of Furisode Kimono Model on May 23 & 30

On the day of the event, JPA will randomly select 10 Furisode Komono model candidates out of the prior registration on the web and the ones showed up at the event venue. At the actual event, one model will be randomly selected to become the Furisode Komono model for the dressing demonstration.

 

Dace with Japanese Pop Songs on May 22, 29 & 31

In Japan, it has long been popular to sing and dance the songs of the pop idols. Almost always, pop idols’ songs have some easy-to-remember choreography.
In the past, the choreography of the pop songs used to be so much easier for anyone, but currently there are many that are not-so-easy.

At this program, we will give you choreography instructions for a part of a hit tune from last year, and we will dance together. We will have one song for grown-ups and one for kids. You will find out which songs we picked when you come to the venue on Governors Island.

Please take some safe distance among each other when you dance. You don’t have to be too strict on following the choreography and it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes. Just move your body with the Japanese pop songs and enjoy the clean air of Governors Island. That’s what’s important in this program.

 

Gujo Odori on May 22, 29 & 31

Gujo Odori is one of the big three Bon Odori dances in Japan. Back in 2019, JPA introduced these at the festival on Governors Island.

Bon Odori is one of the summer Buddhist rituals which originally had its religious significance. Repeated chanting is often used in religious rituals and Buddhists have the same. Bon Odori originally meant as a form of chanting with the repeated body movements, and going circles were supposed to represent the eternity. Dancing a Bon Odori dance had its significance in the practice of concentrating on your body movements, thereby get rid of all the worldly thoughts.

In Japan, there are many kinds of Bon Odori dances from all the localities based on their customs. Gujo Odori is from Gifu with approximately 400 years of history. Gujo Odori has 10 dance variations and JPA will teach you all 10 and we will form a circle (or circles) and dance to the tunes on the 22nd, 29th, and the 31st of May. Gujo Odori is one of the three major Bon Odori (local summer dances related to Buddhism ritual) in Japan, and JPA introduced when we held a festival at Governors Island in 2019. It is a traditional dance that has been performed in the region of Gifu for about 400 years, and there are 10 dances.  Anyone can participate, so we teach these dances and dance in a circle with everyone.

 

Awa Odori on May 22, 29 & 31

Awa Odori, like Gujo Odori, is one of the big three Bon Odori dances in Japan. Back in 2019, JPA introduced these at the festival on Governors Island. Awa Odori is from Tokushima. It has about 400 years of history. Bon Odori dances are conventionally dancing in circles, but Awa Odori, because of its local geographical limitation, was formed as a procession style dance. As a Bon Odori, it is probably the most well-known dance. Every year from the 12th to 15th of August, Tokushima’s festival attracts about one million visitors from all around Japan.

Its dance may look simple with raising arms and go along the rhythms, but there are details in the dance movements, and it is actually physically demanding to continue dancing for 20 minutes. At this program, we will give you the instructions on the dance forms of Awa Odori. Let’s dance to the rhythms of Awa Odori!

 

Issuiku (YiShuiKong) Exercise on May 22 & 31

Issuiku masterfully imbues the Noguchi Taiso by Michizo Noguchi and physical methods and concepts of Japanese traditional forms and techniques codified by Takashi Saito into Chinese royal breathing techniques, court martial arts, and qigong. Like a Zen dance, slow, continuous, elegant movements are inspired by nature. By balancing body, breath, and mind, Issuiku method strengthens you physically as well as mentally, and allows you to reach your full potential. The founder, Lin Yang, has taught Issuiku in Japan for almost 20 years, with certified instructors and students throughout Japan.

With Issuiku method, you can learn to relax, listen to your own body, slow down and feel the breath as you reflect on your health and the health of the Earth. Issuiku program will be taught by Tomoko Sater, certified instructor.

 

Furisode Kimono Dressing Demonstration on May 23 & 30

This program explains Furisode kimono dressing process. Furisode is a type of kimono, top formal wear for unmarried women. Before the modern age in Japan, when girls turn 13, people used to celebrate the coming-of-age ritual, with the girls wearing Furisode kimono. Even now, the ritual is still practiced by some, but not as much as the current coming-of-age ceremony when people turn 20. At the ceremony in January, many girls wear Furisode kimono to celebrate. These Furisode kimono are really expensive as much as around several thousand dollars to several million with really intricate craftsmen work done.

At our event on the 23rd, and the 30th of May, we will randomly select one model to demonstrate the dressing process out of the 10 entries (also already randomly selected) from the audience at 1 pm (The model’s marital status is irrelevant at this event). The selected model will have the makeup and the hair done at the backstage and will reappear on stage wearing the underwear (very much covered at this point already). While the model is at the backstage, the audience will enjoy Yukata Workshop program. It is not usually possible to wear Furisode kimono by oneself, therefore, experts are there to help dressing. In this program, Emi Kikuchi from Kimono Experience will be the kimono expert. She will dress the model as she explains all the essential points.

 

Nihon Buyo (Traditional Japanese Dance on May 23 & 30

Nihon Buyo (traditional Japanese dance) will be performed on stage. Mastering the subtle artistic elements, rather than only the physical movement techniques of this traditional Japanese dance take years of practice.

JPA’s Nihon Buyo classes are directly taught by President Yuko Hamada. Many students have the background of Western dance movements, so the students learn the subtle differences in the muscle movements. The most notable basic difference is the use of energy storing inwards as opposed to Western dances using the energy explosively outwards. This program explains these basic Nihon Buyo movements together with the costume and the hairstyle. Also, five of the dance pieces JPA selected this time, will be explained. All the dance pieces will be performed by Yuko Hamada, President of JPA and Midori Anami, a JPA dancer and long-term student of Yuko Hamada.

Sunday, May 23:

  1. Fuji-musume (Wisteria Maiden) Half Piece by Yuko Hamada in Suodori Kimono
  2. Japanese Traditional Hair Design by Satoshi Ikeda (Model: Midori Anami)
  3. Yamanba (Mountain Witch) By Yuko Hamada in Suodori Kimono
  4. Ayame Yukata (Calamus Summer Kimono) By Midori Anami in full costume & White Makeup

Sunday, May 30:

  1. Ume no Kaori (Plum Scent) by Midori Anami in Yukata (Informal way to perform)
  2. Sukeroku (“Sukeroku” is a male name in Edo period)

 

Kayo Yoshioka – Enka/Japanese Blues on May 31

Kayo Yoshioka is a Japanese blues and Enka singer, and has been based in NY for 14 years. She is also known as a gospel singer and a finalist of female soloist category of McDonald gospel festival 2021. She has performed at Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s annual Sakura Matsuri, Roosevelt Island’s Sakura Matsuri, Spring Festivals at Columbia University and Stonybrook University, and has performed on the NY1 TV Station.

Today she’s introducing you some good old Japanese blues which is called “Showa Kayou” with her band.

Steve Williams – keyboard
Simon Yu – Guitar
Nick West – Bass
Hiroyuki Matsuura – Drums
Kayo Yoshioka – Vocal

 

Yukata Wearing Workshop on May 23, 29 & 30

Summer casual kimono, Yukata is lately experiencing resurgence in popularity in Japan especially when people go out on summer festivals at night. Yukata used to be an underwear for the aristocrats about one thousand years ago. Then it eventually became regular summer clothing for ordinary people about 400 years ago.

Yukata is often the first step when learning how to wear kimono. If you desire to wear kimono beautifully, there are some essential points to learn and require repeated practice. JPA Yukata Workshop instructors are students in U.S. universities learning Japanese language and culture. They will teach you how to wear yukata step by step based on their own experiences.

The workshop will have 15 female yukata and 5 male yukata. Please note that there are limitations of the yukata sizes at the event, so unfortunately if the yukata size does not match a participant, the participant will not be able to wear it.

 

Furoshiki Wrapping Workshop on May 29

Furoshiki in Japanese term is a square clothe for wrapping and transporting goods.  Furoshiki has been introduced as one of the Japanese eco-friendly goods, that has been used in Japan more than 1000 years with various size of square clothe.  For JPA’s future plan of introduction of “Mottainai” concept through kimono and clothes, we would like to start Furoshiki Wrapping Workshop from this year as an initiative activity. We will teach you 5 different kind of wrapping styles using 35” Furoshiki.

 

Spinning Tops (Koma) Workshop on May 29 & 31
Japanese spinning tops, or Koma toys have about 1,300 years of history. It’s a toy that most Japanese would experience in their childhood. The toy involved over time, so currently there are some which can spin it easily with a touch of a button. However, JPA will do a workshop with the traditional type using a rope.
It is really important to develop the dexterity using our fingers. Using Koma requires the skill to prepare the rope wrapping around the axis rod, and even when you could do it, the eye-hand coordination and the body balance is required to throw the toy to spin it beautifully on the floor. It may sound an overstatement, but it is actually really beneficial for your body to have the concentration when you through the Koma toy.

Please try this as an exercise. There are more of other Japanese traditional toys. So please try and enjoy!

 

Japanese Traditional Toys on May 29 & 31

At the event site, there will be a play area with Japanese traditional toys such as: bamboo water pistols, paper balloons, and bamboo dragonflies. Lots of soap balloons will be flying around in the area as well.

 

Kawachi Ondo & Goshu Ondo (Bon Odori) on May 29 & 31
(This program may or may not happen!)

Kawachi Ondo dance is from Osaka and Goshu Ondo dance is from Shiga Prefecture. These two Bon Odori dances are the repertoires that New York-based group “Bon Dan” especially practice these days.

Depending on the event program status, these two dances may start all the sudden at the program site. If you happen to run into these dances all the sudden, please don’t get startled, but try to join the dance watching the Bon Dan dancers’ moves. These dances are relatively easy and they are relatively new among many of traditional Bon Odori dances. They are fun with their unique rhythms.