Oh my, this was fun to put together!
The town where I lived in Japan is home to an amazing wooden theatre house that was constructed in the Meiji-era (Korakukan theatre in Kosaka, Akita). I can’t remember if it is the oldest of its kind, but it’s certainly a unique treasure for the community. In addition to the professional performances that went on every year, they also had a wonderful annual tradition of having kids perform kabuki scenes (Kodomo Kabuki).
At the time, a work colleague suggested that I learn this passage (弁天小僧菊之助たァ！); shortly after that conversation, someone else gave me a copy of 声に出して読みたい日本語 (the book I read from for this video). Opening the book, the passage that my colleague had recommended was the *very* first item included in this collection of Japanese gems that are truly meant to be read aloud and treasured. I was inspired to learn the passage, but I never followed through until I recently put my mind to reciting it.
At the time (pre-youtube era), I remember thinking “This book is great, but what I really need is an audio recording of some kind to practice with!”. Coming back to it now many years later, I was able to find a few examples on Youtube that I could use as a base.
If you want to see the scene this is taken from, check out the second video– the last video (from youtube channel kikunosuke81) is the one that I used (extensively) to practice for this project.
I thought it would be fun to do this as a ‘finger paint karaoke‘ and tried putting myself in front of the camera.
I look forward to sharing this with my old colleague if our paths cross this summer!