Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Kichimu show and the last happy apples...

Today Japan had a moderate typhoon, it's unusual in spring-time.
People are wary of the rain as it carries some radioactivity. People often use umbrellas, but here near Tokyo, the sight of so many clear plastic umbrellas (which appear to me to be standard issue) gives the street view an unsettling dystopian air.

In typhoons, overground trains are halted, so we were prepared for a quiet show- the venue was full however, and Harada Ikoko-San and Tonchi played a beautiful set with fascinating vocal play, piano, steel-pan and loop effects.
All our music went down well and we joined together at the end of the night to sing a traditional Japanese springtime song -
'haru ga kita, - spring is coming
doko ni kita? - where is it coming?
Yama ni kita. - to the mountains
Sato ni kita. - to the countryside
No nimo kita. - and then grass grows


We were cooked a delicious meal after the show - ninjin with bhutan (carrot with a Japanese citrus like grapefruit), spaghetti, a type of squash with fried cabbage and vinegar, and then the most poignant, bittersweet apple juice one can imagine - clear as amber, served with a cube of ice and a little cherry blossom - from the last batch of Fukushima apple juice before the nuclear disaster last spring.

So today was wonderful but also provoked contemplation on this serious nuclear issue - the umbrellas, apple juice and talk from Rachael of how some parts of Tokyo are contamination hotspots on par with Chernobyl, culminating, for me, in a more tangible understanding of the issue here and what is at stake.

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