Gagaku (雅楽） is Japanese music more than 1000 years old. The tradition of Gagaku at Shitennoji (四天王寺） in Osaka also goes back more than a 1000 years. It is an important part of the traditional Shoryoe (聖霊会) ceremony. You can watch it every 22nd of April at the temple. The government has recognized it as important cultural property. And I took part in it this year! It was a dream come true!
Because of this I am very proud that I could play Gagaku at the ceremony this year. Nearly 20 years ago I started playing the music in my hometown, and soon I moved to Japan to learn more. Finally in 2005 I started taking classes at the Garyokai at Shitennoji. Because I have not talent for music at all, it took me more than 15 years to play Gagaku at the traditional Shoryoe ceremony! I am really thankful that my teachers had the patience to keep teaching me all these long years! Thank you very much! Japanese people can be very kind and understanding.
This year’s Shoryoe was special. We played Gagaku for more than 8 hours because the saint of Shitenoji, Prince Shotoku, died 1400 years ago. So the temple decided to revive the tradition from the Edo period and added many old pieces. This year, one Gagaku piece became know because of the curious masks: Soriko. If you can spare the time, please watch a part of the traditional ceremony! (Soriko starts at 2:07:00)
More articles by music playing Smith’s teachers
Last article from Smith’s school of English in Fuse
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