“A Visit to ‘Asa and Asa'” by Yoshikazu Fujimoto
From July 2014 Issue of Monthly Japanese Newsletter “Kodo”
Last March, Yoko and I visited Mr. Shigeki Hatakeyama on Sado, who taught us mat (floor) exercises during the early days of Ondekoza. Last year, his wife passed away, so Yoko asked me to go with her to light incense and offer a prayer for Mrs. Hatakeyama.
This couple always came to see our annual December performances on Sado Island together. When we visited their home for the first time, it was like a little art gallery. Their house is an old Japanese-style home, which was remodeled to make the most of the traditional style, and they have decorated it with a variety of artworks, creating a special harmony with both old and new pieces.
From the left: Yoko Fujimoto, Yoshikazu Fujimoto and Mr. Shigeki Hatakeyama
Mr. Hatakeyama was born in 1944 and turned 70 years old this year. He was a high school P.E. teacher in the seventies when he taught us. Ever since, he has made and sent a wonderful new-year card to Kodo every year. We found out he had made these with his wife. She was a also teacher, who taught Home Economics at Sado Girls’ High. After losing his beloved wife, Mr. Hatakeyama decided he had to make the art gallery that they had been thinking of opening together in the barn in front of their house. They wanted it to be a place for friends to come together. So he has been working away, establishing it with help from his friends.
In his gallery, there are some works created by Yoko and I on display. Some were made using my old bachi (drumsticks) and another piece is a picture on a large white panel, which Mr. Hatakeyama adorned with a tri-color decoration. So, this piece is a collaborative work created by the three of us. The name of this gallery is “Asa and Asa.”