Every February members of Udaka Michishige’s training group, the Kei’un-kai, including members of the International Noh Institute, gather in Kyoto for a kenkyu-kai, or ‘research meeting’. According to the traditional calendar this is the beginning of the spring (立春), hence the name of this meeting.
This year’s spring kenkyu-kai took place on Sunday 14th February and has been quite a full day! Over twenty of Udaka-sensei’s advanced students performed maibayashi and half-noh. As most of us also study either the kotsuzumi or the taiko, on top of chant and dance, this event is a chance to play for each other, and to sing in the jiutai chorus. Sensei’s two sons, Tatsushige and Norishige, also join in playing flute and kotsuzumi, while Sensei himself plays the otsuzumi beats on the hyoshiban practice wooden block. What a day for Tatsushige, who plays the flute from morning to evening!
I performed the maibayashi of the shuramono (warrior play), and played the taiko in the maibayashi from Seiobo and Kasuga-ryujin. Recently I have been doing fast paced plays – I wonder what I am going to study next!