Sukeyasu Shiba's expansive inspiration

Imagine plucking a lute slowly and deliberately.  The impulse could arise from emotions within yourself.  But possibilities for inspiration other than the self also exist.  Sukeyasu Shiba’s Gagaku Universe, performed this past Wednesday evening by the Reigakusha Gagaku Ensemble at the Freer Gallery, drew inspiration from within and from without, from relations with objects and … Continue reading Sukeyasu Shiba's expansive inspiration

moving pictures before television

From the 1920s through the 1950s, many persons earned a living performing stories (“kamishibai”) for free on the streets of Japan.  The kamishibai performers moved image cards through a wooden picture frame to provide a visual complement to their verbal narratives.  They sought to build a regular audience by performing stories that continued across days.  … Continue reading moving pictures before television

puppet and puppeteer

Alone in bed, her black hair untied across her pillow, she laments the white snow piling up in it. The open-faced puppeteer moves with her, their gestures double, her loneliness is his loneliness. In many forms of puppetry, the puppeteer isn’t visible. In Bunraku, a famous Japanese style of puppetry, three puppeteers visible on stage … Continue reading puppet and puppeteer