Ginkenshibu Introduced in Chicago: Poetry Recital and Sword Dance
• To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the Nippon Ginkenshibu Foundation
invited American people to a workshop and a concert in Chicago on July
28 and 29.
• According to Hideharu Hirowatari, Executive Director
and Secretary General of the Foundation, it has about 100,000 memberships
which originate from many different local schools. Another 100,000 people
are practicing and performing the old form of arts outside of the foundation
• A workshop took place at the Japan Information Center of the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago. The members from the Super Team demonstrated ginkenshibu and gave lessons to the visitors. The Super Team members were winners or runners up in local competitions, then national competitions and their performances were highly sophisticated due to a longtime, strict practice in their own schools.
• First, gin-ei singers introduced a well-known piece
of a Chinese poem that admonishes people not to waste any moment easily
because learning is hard, and boys and girls grow old easily…
• Next, dancers performed shi-bu and taught how to handle a fan with elegance. It looked easy, but you need to manipulate your fingers in a complicated way. The visitors, who challenged it, received a beautiful fan as a gift from the performers.
• The last lesson was ken-bu, a dance with sword. The basics of the dance were drawn from iaido, a way of martial art of drawing one's sword, cutting down one's opponent and sheathing the sword, all in one moment.
The 50th Commemorative Concert
• The 50th anniversary commemorative concert was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in collaboration with Tsukasa Taiko. All the seats were offered at free admission and reserved very quickly through online. Some people gave up on the concert; however, a good number of seats were available because people who made reservations didn’t show up.
• The concert began with gin-ei and dances describing
the beauty of Japan such as cherry blossom, Mt. Fuji, Sumida river in
Tokyo, old castles and more.
• After the concert, Michio Sugawara, Chairman of the
Nippon Ginkenshibu Foundation, said, “We want to pass our arts on to the
next generation, so we have been fostering young performers.”
• Kasei Morita, beautiful gin-ei singer with a furisode
kimono, started gin-ei when she was three years old because she was born
in gin-ei family of the Gindo Tosei Ryu in Kagoshima Prefecture.
• A beautiful shi-bu dancer was Hiromi Suzuki. She is
a nurse chief in a cancer center in Nagoya city.
• Rikan Masui danced thrilling ken-bu with Risen Hayabuchi. Masui started ken-bu when he was about five, but quit it later. He returned to it when he became a middle school student because his uncle was head of the Hayabuchi Ryu Kenshibu Do. His uncle, Risho Hayabuchi, is also the 16th generation of the Araki Mujinsai Ryu Iaido.
• Risho Hayabuchi has been teaching young performers and foreign students. He has a dojo class in Phoenix, Arizona, and his two students attended the workshop. When he returns to Kobe, Japan, he is going to visit the U.K., France and Poland to teach ken-bu and iaido. “I have been teaching foreign students for more than 30 years, so a top student can teach younger students in each dojo,” he said.
• Koukoushi Yatsushiro is a gin-ei singer and teacher
in Miyazaki Prefecture. She has about 100 students, but the Tansoden Korei
Ryu School, where she belongs, has several thousand students.
• Saifu Wada is also a gin-ei singer and teacher in Kariya City in Aichi Prefecture. She had hoarse voice and couldn’t speak much. She has published CDs for gin-ei and choreography for ken-bu and shi-bu.
Gin-ei singers teach how to sing a well-known piece at a workshop.
The visitors try to handle a sword at a workshop.
Risho Hayabuchi performs ken-bu dance.
Rikan Masui (L) dances thrilling ken-bu with Risen Hayabuchi.