JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.

Image search results - "performance"
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April 16, 2017 For the 100th anniversary of Biwako Shuko no Uta in 2017, we planned a mini concert at Imazu.I designed these T-shirts for this day. Also notice the Biwa pearl necklaces which I also had custom-made and gave to the girls.
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It was sweet to return to Imazu to sing. It had been 11 years (2006) since we did this.
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This time, we sang with Lake Biwa reed flutists Lake Reed (Kikui Satoru and Kondo Yumiko). It turned out so pretty.
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We were very lucky to get Lake Reed to perform with us. Mr. Kikui (far right) basically invented the Lake Biwa reed flute in 2000.
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Megan and Jamie pose in front of the song monument. Five major newspapers covered the event. (See the news article section.)
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After performing at Imazu Port, we also performed inside the Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan song museum's 2nd floor.
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Over 50 people attended our mini concert. Sorry about the kids not being able to see well.
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A special guest was Kitagawa Akihiro who is the vocalist of the Nagahama-based duo ~Lefa~. He sang in English with the girls.
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We were honored by former Shiga Governor Kada Yukiko attending our mini concert. She also promoted the 1st Biwako Music Festival to be held at Biwako Hall on June 30, 2017.
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Most of the audience had to leave to go on the 3:30 pm cherry blossom cruise to Kaizu-Osaki from Imazu Port. So we were the only ones left at the end when we sang the song in Japanese the traditional way.
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YouTube video of us singing Lake Biwa Rowing Song at Imazu Port. 5 min.
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YouTube video of our mini concert inside Biwako Shuko no Uta Shiryokan. 23 min.
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Hula Halau'O Kamuela from Oahu won the overall title at the 2008 Merrie Monarch Festival held in Hilo, Hawai'i. The overall winner is also invited to perform at Ikaho Spa's annual Hawaiian Festival held in August.
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For the 12th Ikaho Hawaiian Festival held during Aug. 3-6, 2008, Hula Halau'O Kamuela performed every night for an hour as the festival's main event (free admission). 伊香保ハワイアンフェスティバルのメリーモナークショー
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Their first number was hula kahiko (ancient hula). The performance was held from 8:45 pm to 9:45 pm. On the third night (Aug. 5), the show was unfortunately cancelled due to heavy nighttime rains.
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For the three shows they did perform, each show was slightly different. For people who saw all three shows, they got something different from each show.
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Hula kahiko started with a chant. ショーは夜の8:45〜9:45、フラカヒコで始まった。8月5日の第三の夜は雷雨のため中止となった。これらの写真は4日と6日に撮影。毎晩、ちょっと違うショーだった
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They used one 'uli'uli, a feathered gourd rattle.
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The photos on this page were taken on two different nights.
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Many of the girls were still high school students.
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Two of the girls were students at the high school I graduated from in Honolulu.
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One of my favorite shots.
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On the left side of the stage was the Hawaiian flag.
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Backbend was a real crowd pleaser.
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After the backbend.
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Music was provided by Puka on bass, Aaron Sala on keyboard and Kunewa Mook on ukulele.
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More eye candy with colorful, shimmering grass skirts.
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A touch of elegance with this solo number.
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Māhealani Mika Hirao-Solem who later became Miss Aloha Hula at the 2010 Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawai'i.
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Māhealani Mika Hirao-Solem performs at Ikaho, Japan. She later became Miss Aloha Hula 2010. Shadows on her velvety gown look good.
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Her lit arms pierce the dark...
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Kumu hula Kau'i Kamanao in a cheerful duet.
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Hula girl
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Māhealani Mika Hirao-Solem who later became Miss Aloha Hula at the 2010 Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawai'i.
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Māhealani Mika Hirao-Solem
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In the background is the flag of the city of Shibukawa, the sister city of the County of Hawai'i (island of Hawai'i or the Big Island).
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Love
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What would a hula show be without the 'uli'uli gourd rattles?
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Bamboo rattles called pu'ili.
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Kau'i in a duet, paddling in a canoe.
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Kau'i performs a solo number.
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He's a crowd pleaser as well and well-known in Japan. Also a graduate of the same high school as me.
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The surprise on the second night (Aug. 4) was a performance by kumu hula Aloha Dalire.
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Aloha Dalire dancing the hula on stage. 飛び入り参加したアロハ・ダリレもフラを披露。
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This lady has produced five Miss Aloha Hulas, including all three of her daughters and this year's Miss Aloha Hula (Kuhi Suganuma).
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Aloha Dalire performing in the Ikaho Hawaiian Festival.
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The band go over their numbers before going on stage.
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The band.
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The bass player is also a graduate of my high school.
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Kunewa Mook, one of the kumu hulas for Hula Halau 'O Kamuela.
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The crowd watching the show. The front row includes guests from Hawai'i.
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The surprise on the last night was kumu hula Kunewa Mook dancing on stage. 違う夜にクネヴァ・ムークも飛び入り参加
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His slow hula dance drove the ladies wild. You should've heard the screams...
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Kunewa is a very distinguished-looking man, much more so in person than in pictures. He always has a great smile for the camera too.
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The final number.
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They use 'ili'ili stone castanets.
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Backbend sequence by Māhealani Mika Hirao-Solem who later became Miss Aloha Hula at the 2010 Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawai'i.
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On the final night, they gave an encore where Kau'i joined in.
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最後の夜だけアンコールがあった
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For that one magical hour, it felt like we were in Hawai'i.
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A big mahalo to Hula Halau 'O Kamuela for traveling all the way to Ikaho and making us all happy with their hula. I have already given free copies of these photos (and more) to the performers through Kau'i and Kunewa.
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The 36th Noge Daidogei Street Performance Festival was held on April 24-25, 2010 in Yokohama, near JR Sakuragicho Station. "Daidogei" means street performance.
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On the streets around Noge, they had well over 10 street performance areas numbered from A to N. Large crowds gathered around all of them, especially this one.
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The first street performer I wanted to see on April 24 was the Sasara Housara butoh dancers. First we see this sign warning us that the gold paint will not come off if it rubs on us.
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The Sasara Hosara butoh dancers were almost nude and painted in gold. I had to see this, and came away very impressed.
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At the 36th Noge Daidogei street performance festival in Yokohama, the Sasara Housara semi-nude butoh dance troupe, body-painted in gold, gave a spellbinding performance.
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They gradually headed up the road toward their street performance area. ささらほうさら 金粉ショー
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The music, their movements, and gold appearance really made it interesting.
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There were two guys and three girls dancing.
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Also see my video at YouTube.
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Sometimes they dived into the crowd, which was hilarious. But no one dared to touch the gold bodies.
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But it was obvious that the gold paint easily rubbed off, when they sat on the ground, etc.
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They gave three performances on each day of the Noge Daidogei festival. Imagine being painted in gold for the better part of the day.
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After each performance, they must have some touch-up painting where it rubbed off.
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Golden Girl
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The music was very spacy.
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Also see my video at YouTube.
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It sure reminds you of the James Bond movie, "Goldfinger" where a girl was turned into gold.
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Well, it was a very photogenic performance. Someday, I'd like to see foreigners dance with them.
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Taking a bow. Also see my video at YouTube.
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I gladly gave them a coin, even though they deserve a lot more. Hopefully there were people who gave bills.
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Next group I saw were these Chinese acrobats. First he uses a long whip to cut off the flower the little boy is holding.
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Then two women do quick costume and mask changes.
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This man did a few amazing balancing acts.
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But the most amazing act was the final one, by this world-class Chinese acrobat.
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She kept piling on these chairs. Good thing it wasn't a windy day.
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The 36th Noge Daidogei Street Performance Festival in Yokohama, Japan featured a fantastic troupe of Chinese acrobats on April 24-25, 2010. 中国雑技芸術団
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Then she balances herself on this high stack of chairs.
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Wow...
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Also see my video at YouTube.
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Amazing. We were all in awe.
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Ta-da!! And everyone applauded. What a show that was.
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She's like wow...
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OK, next was the eye-catching Yoshimoto Daisuke butoh dancers. 吉本大輔
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Two skywalkers and two dancers on the ground. Also see my video at YouTube.
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She moved very slowly down the road.
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After making a grand entrance, they finally reached their performance area.
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Didn't understand what they were doing, but it was interesting to watch.
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The 36th Noge Daidogei Street Performance Festival in Yokohama, Japan featured an alluring troupe of Japanese belly dancers from the Al Camarani Oriental Dance Company on April 24-25, 2010.
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They were quite good. Lately, I've been seeing more Japanese taking up belly dancing. I hope the trend spreads further.
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Japanese belly dancers at Noge Daidogei in Yokohama.1 comments
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They actually didn't perform on the street. They were next to the train station under a roof.
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They danced in two groups. There's another group dancing on the right of this group.
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They said that they follow the gypsy-style of belly dancing.
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Balancing a sword on their heads while belly dancing.
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Japanese belly dancer.
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