Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Sunday's Taiko diary (performance 2)

Sunday's Taiko schedule went something like this...

07.15. At this unholy hour I dig myself up. On a weekday this would leave me struggling to get to work on time, but on the weekend it's when I envisage reanimated corpses should be partying in the moonlight, playing their rib cages like xylophones. I forgo the mandatory morning shower and breakfast, promising my unresponsive body I will tend to it's needs when I get back.

07.40. I arrive at my yakuba. A member of my Taiko group is giving me a lift to the venue, and for this I am happy.

07.45. The worn out road/track we drive along reminds me I'm still battling sleep, as my nodding head bounces off the window.

07.55. We arrive at the venue. It's bigger than I expected. My first performance was for a small event at a people's home, this one looks much grander.

08.10. The drums are into the venue foyer and we start to take them through. I'm startled to find we are playing in a giant gymnasium packed with people! I really should have taken more time over my hair.

08.11. I'm startled again as I realise everyone in the place is female. Aside from an organiser and myself, the place is devoid of anything remotely resembling testicles.

08.20. Still unsure as to whether I should be playing in what I'm sure is a womens team event, I change into my Taiko gear. I say change, I just take off my long-sleeve tee and replace it with a Taiko 'Happi', or 'short coat.'

08.30. The event starts it opening ceremony.

08.45. The opening ceremony is still opening the event.

08.55. The opening ceremony is still opening the event, but looks like it might start to wind down soon. I'm dozing off backstage, much to the amusement of my group.

09.00. The event opening ceremony's closing ceremony begins.

09.05. The event opening ceremony's closing ceremony is almost at an end.

Approx. 09.15. We take to the drums, rei, and begin song 1, Isamigoma.

09.18. I'm certain my arms are about to fall off. The burning reaches my back and I fleetingly - and quite desperately - wish I'd done warm-up exercises instead of sleeping before this performance.

09.22. Looks from the audience suggest they are wondering who this foreigner is, why he is playing at this all-female event, and why does he look like a ragged marionette on very eager strings?

09.25. We're about to finish song 2, Buchiawase, our last in this short performance. I can't feel my arms and my hands have stopped talking to me.

09.30. We're finished, packed up and ready to leave.

09.40. My right arm is still not responding. I vow a) to ask my absent sensei how I qualify as female, b) to warm up before every future performance, and c) to not drown in the shower when I get home.


  1. lol. wiating on teh feedback on why you were sent there in teh first place? Maybe a fire baptism or just a prank?

  2. No explanation. My sensei just "forgot" to tell me. Of course, he told me that with a slight grin. Perhaps I owe him for that one...