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Monday, December 24, 2012

Sanshin Lesson Six

Merry Christmas!


My last Sanshin lesson this year is about the traditional folk songs played for BON dance (盆踊)
called "Eisa" dance usually performed in the Okinawan islands 
during ritual ceremonies of  Summer festivals. 

There are: 
Nandaki Bushi, Chun Jun Nagari, Ku-da-ka, Tuttan Ka-ni, Umiyakara, Ichubi Gwa-, 
Katami Bushi, Toshin Do-i, Hichigwachi Eisa, Sunsa-mi 
and Tenyo Bushi.

Today I would like to introduce Tenyo Bushi whichi is one of the easiest folk songs to play.

Kun-Kun-Shi of Tenyo Bushi:

工工尺工五七五七五尺工工五四工老四上尺工尺上尺上老四合尺(repeat twice)

待ちかにーていうたる 七月けなてぃ   
Machinkani Ti    Utaru       Hichigwachi kena-ti

テンヨーテンヨー シトウリクテン ハリガヨーヌ ユイヤナー
Tenyo- Tenyo-        Shitu  Rikuten      Hrigayo-nu       Yuiyana-

About Eisa:

I will play Tenyo Bushi at my next performance on
Jan.19th 2013 at
New York Times Travel Show




Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dinner Time

Tonight, we went to Vietnamese Restaurant PHO'HOAI
4th Avenue, Brooklyn.
The restaurant serves authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
 Their soup is one of the best Vietnamese soup I have ever had.
The food was delicious and reasonable prices too. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today's Lunch

Today, I decided to cook small Lunch for change. :)


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Party

Happy Holiday Season!

Our condominium held annual holiday party tonight at the club house.

I created new bags today.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My New Store

I wanted to let you all know that I've opened a new store on the Internet, which accepts credit cards so it's easier than ever to buy my handbags! 
You can find it at, or by clicking HERE. 
Check it often, for new additions and holiday bargains!


 I am working on new bag today.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Kanzaburo Nakamura, A Kabuki Actor

Today, I would to write about A Kabuki Actor, Kanzaburo Nakamura18th to remember his work
in New York.
 I had an opportunity to see the performance of the Heisei Nakamura Za Kabuki theater which was held in July 2004 at the Summer Festival, the Lincoln Center in New York City.

Kanzaburo Nakamura has passed away on December 5th. He was only 57 years old.
He was the first Kabuki actor to bring Edo-period Kabuki house to the USA in Kabuki History.

I would like to introduce a page from a book called Tamashi 魂, Mick Rock meets KANZABURO
 to remember Kanzaburo.
Photograph by Mick Rock 




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sanshin Lesson Five

Today, I would like to talk about one of kind of minyo (Okinawan folk songs) called Love songs. 
 These love songs were sung mainly during plays called Okinawa Shibai or Okinawa Play (Uchina Shibai).
 Okinawa Shibai are also called Kageki(歌劇)

 The pace of these songs is relatively slow, since they are usually sung by actors playing loving couples who exchange their feelings each other.

I would like to introduce three songs; Shira hama bushi, Hanagasa bushi, and Nishinjo bushi

1. Shira hama bushi:  The Song of Shira Hama. Shirahama means white beach
Lyrics: sung by couple called Kake uta
I am a woman like a fallen pine tree in the Shira hama;
even though the wind of Spring blows, my flower is not blossoming.
Our hearts are like fallen trees, since our love can't be.

我(わ)んや白浜ぬ 枯松(かりまち)がやゆら 春風(はるかじ)や吹ちん 
花や咲かん 二人やままならん 枯木心
Shira Hama Bushi:
Wan ya Shira hama nu  Kari machi du yayura Harukaji ya fuchin Hana ya sakan
Taiya mama naranu Kariki gukuru

Introduction part of the music: San sage tuning

2. Hana Gasa Bushi: The Song of Hana Gasa. Hana Gasa means flower hat
A brief interpretation: A woman carrying a flower hat is going to see her lover (a high-ranking man she has fallen in love with). A woman is not supposed to have a loving relationship with Satunushi (a man of different rank), but she misses him so much and can't wait to see him, so she hides her face with the flower hat and tries to approach him to see him. The song is performed by only woman.

花笠造やい 面影かくちょてぃ 梅ぬ匂い ヤレ  里とう我が仲忍ばんむんぬん 
我が落着ちゆみ  ヨイシ ヨイシトウ カタミティヨイシ
Hanagasa chukuyai, Umukaji kakuchoti, Umi nu niu-i, yare, satu ga waga naka shinuban mun nunn
waga uti chuchu-mi, yoishi yoishi tu katamiti yoi-shi

Introduction part of the music: san sage tuning

Here is a link of the Hanagasa Bushi performed by Mr. Toru Yonaha, one the greatest musician of Okinawa.


3. Nishin Jo Bushi:A song of the Wast gate.
A  woman who has fallen in love with a man who is a high-ranking officer (a higher-rank than she) can't marry him, but she loves him deeply. Each time they meet outside the castle, the man tells her after their meeting, "my love, I am going back to castle" and the woman responds "please wait, I will walk with you until you get the Wast gate of the castle".

行んどーや加那志(かなし) 待ちみそーれ里前(さとうめ) 
西武門ぬ間や(えだや) 御共(うとうむ)さびら ヨーテ じんとー御共さびら
Ichun doya kanashi, machimi so-re Satume, Nishinjo nu eda-ya, utumu sabira yo-te
Jinto Utumu sa-bira

Introduction part of the music: san sage tuning

Nishinjo bushi is a theme song of a play called "Nishinjo Aika"l, song performed by woman.

Behind the story of the love songs:
These love songs are written as real stories.
For example:
During the Ryukyu royal system, officers were dispatched to local governments to observe the islands and other villages. Those high-ranking officer sometimes fell in love with women in local villages or islands, even though such love was prohibited during that period. In this regard, they expressed their unfortunate love in music, so many such love songs were written in Ryukyu.

Unlike other folk songs, the love songs require emotions for their singing to be effective.  As in acting, we have to understand the meaning of the words as much as possible, like actors in a play.

If you interested in taking lessons of these love songs from me, including Sanshin play and singing, 
please contact me at
I will be happy to teach you!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy December!

Our first Craft Fair last Saturday wasn't so popular; the organizer told that attendance at the event probably was affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Many other public events held on Long Island last month also were unpopular, also likely the result of the aftermath of Sandy. I totally understand that, since most people who live in the Long Island area experience power outages as long as three weeks!. I can't imagine living without lights and heat for three weeks. 
I totally sympathize with those people, and wish them a warm and happy holiday season!

A photo from the craft fair:

I live in Douglaston, Queens, and we didn't experience any extended blackout, so I could work on my projects as usual, so I feel very lucky.

Today, I would like to introduce photos of some of my new bags; please check my web site later for details of  these and other new bags.

Here are the photos:

Gold leaf Nishijin Brocade with Italian-made gold handles

Tsutsumi (Tako) Nishijin Obi Tote with gold leather-like handles

Dark Green-Gold Nishijin Brocade Mini Clutch
The mon (emblem) of this pattern is called
"Mukai Cho Mon"; two birds facing