Kakizome and Tsugaru Shamisen Performance

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For its second cultural and educational program of 2017, JASGA joined the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum family day on January 8th.  We invited a shamisen player, 17-year-old Ryuto Koike, who is from Sapporo, Hokkaido.  He has been practicing Tsugaru shamisen for 13 years.  He played traditional Tsugaru Shamisen pieces. It was a rare opportunity to have a traditional Shamisen player during the new year's days in Austin.  Many of the audience enjoyed the Japanese traditional instrumental music despite the cold weather.  

We also invited a certified calligrapher Aya Koga to share with us the traditional Japanese New Year's custom of kakizome. Kakizome (in Japanese, "first writing" 書き初め) is the first calligraphy written at the beginning of the yea. Kakizome is traditionally held on January 2nd in Japan when people write positive and encouraging words and phrases with calligraphy brush and ink.  Some audience members were invited to participate to write own Kakizome after the demonstration.  

Thank you for coming by the January family day and share the experiences with Tsugaru Shamisen performance and Kakizome, Japanese first calligraphy of 2017!

(Click on each photo to view photo albums.)