“One Year Down, One to Go! Update on the 2nd-year Apprentices” by Michiko Chida
After seeing off the apprentices from the year above them in January, there were only 8 new 2nd-year apprentices living together at the Apprentice Centre until they welcomed the new 1st-year apprentices in April. They had to adjust their relationship and learn to cooperate as such a small group. And, they had to deal with the harsh Sado Island winter for the first time.
Through this season, they really had to face each other and take a good look at themselves. But, what they gained from this time must become their energy for their new start as 2nd years.
The apprentices came through this challenging season and by the end of March they’d had a lot of new memorable experiences.
Yoko Fujimoto’s “Voice Circle”: 2 days/1 night with Yoko Fujimoto, spent learning songs and listening to the stories. At the end, they sang Hinei Ma Tov to each other.
Participated as singers in Noh performance, “Funa Benkei.” (Yasuko Honma of the Kodo Cultural Foundation also took part playing taiko.)
Yoshikazu Fujimoto’s intensive workshop (2 days/1 night learning taiko, dancing, singing… and absorbing Yoshikazu’s spirit.)
Exchange with Niigata University students who came to the neighboring village. We invited them to watch the apprentices’ recital rehearsal.
Learned Ake-no Myojo from Eri Uchida and Maya Minowa.
Learned Monochrome from Eiichi Saito.
Practiced O-daiko with Tomohiro Mitome and junior members at Kodo Village Rehearsal Hall.
From April 1, Kakinoura demon dance lessons started and they will last for 13 days. On April 8, they performed in front of all the Kodo members to show how much they have improved over the winter. It’s a busy time, during which they were joined by twelve new 1st-year apprentices on April 6.
The 2nd-year apprentices have to teach everything about the Apprentice Centre to the new 1st-years. Their life is much harder than what they expected, compared to their first year. There is one week to go until the Kakinoura Festival. Let’s see how they hold up!