After a day of sightseeing around Mihama, plus a brief moment playing taiko by the sea, it was finally time for taiko practice! Plus, of course, a little more sightseeing, and a reception at the Aichi America-Japan Society.
We began the day at Nihon Fukushi University Bunka Hall, where on Saturday the students will be giving a joint performance with Rakko. They began the morning's practice with group warm-ups, followed by a performance by Rakko of "Irodori."
The Pittsburgh students then joined Rakko back on the stage, and the Rakko members began to teach "Matsuri Daiko," the piece that they'll be playing together on Saturday. Breaking up into groups of three, the students quickly picked up not just the rhythms, but also the vocals and the movements necessary for the song.
After learning the first part of "Matsuri Daiko," it was time for the TOMODACHI students to show off what they had learned since they first met Rakko one year ago. Upon request, they performed "Raku," the piece that Rakko members taught they last August. After this performance, Rakko members joined them on the stage, and a brief run-through of the piece demonstrated the energy and enthusiasm that the audience will be able to witness on Saturday.
Then, the Pittsburgh students had a short time to run through and work on"Kore Kara," one of the pieces they'll be playing on Saturday (and had performed at the pre-tour concert at the end of July in Pittsburgh). It took a little while for them to get used to the unfamiliar drums and performance space, but in the end you could see their confidence returning and the energy finding its way back into the performance.
After a lunch break, during which the students ate bento provided by their host families, we departed for Nagoya! Two trains later, we found ourselves at the Nagoya City Science Museum, home to the largest planetariums in the world. Before the planetarium came some free time in the Science Center, checking out the various exhibits.
Once we entered into the planetarium, we were treated to a show about the constellations (with an emphasis on those stars and constellations important to the Japanese holiday Tanabata).
From the Science Center, we went to a reception hosted by the Aichi America-Japan Society. After introducing themselves (in Japanese!) to those in attendance, the students were treated to dinner, all the while socializing with local businessmen and government officials, including a representative from the American Consulate in Nagoya. Ashley and Jacob S. each sang a brief song in celebration of the occasion, and their efforts were warmly received by not only the locals in attendance at the reception but their fellow students as well!
Following the reception, we boarded the trains and headed south, gradually parting ways to head back the host families and get a much deserved rest before tomorrow's trip to visit to the professional taiko group Shidara. Click here to see more pictures from August 9, 2016.