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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Kotohajime 2018

I volunteered to help set up so I was able to snap a couplt photos of rehearsal.

Even as we wait for the curtain to go up, and Kotohajime to begin, we are blessed with beautiful voices of Daiku.
 Actually all we see is the dynamic conductor. The singers are above us in the balcony, we hear the beautiful voices all around us.

As the curtain is raised the snow begins to fall and a Buddhist monk walks across the stage ringing a bell.

He is followed by 7 other priests doing their walking mediation to his bell.

The precession of Buddhist Priests is followed by an Okinawan Dance Company: Majikina Honryu Ryugu Dojo Aigen No Kai, led by Majikina Aiko Tengan.

The next performer was the haunting voice of story teller Kyokkaku Kawamoto Sensei with her biwa.

As Kawamoto Sensei finishes, the Buddhist priests (to the sound of the ringing bell) have returned and wind their way in to sit on the stage.

With the Priests as his background, the director Hirokazu Kosaka himself (with his assistants) comes on to the stage to purify the incoming year with the shot of a sacred arrow piercing an exploding target.

Kotohajime ends with the explosion releasing a hundred streams of ticker tape, as if from the side of a ship from long ago that brought the Issei to America from Japan.

Hirokazu Kosaka has again, somehow, made a new version of his annual event. Perhaps even better than the last. I can't wait to see what he does for his 36th Kotohajime Performance in 2019. We highly recommend this annual event.

(small disclosure: I am a personal friend and long time associate of Hirokazu, having been a student of his for these past 35 years, so I might be slightly biased... but maybe not too, It's really quite a performance).

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Kotohajime 2018 at the JAT video 2 of 3

Kotohajime 2018 at the JAT - Japanese American Theater. Produced by Hiro...

Here is a sample of one of the perfomances at the JAT - Japanese American Theater in Little Tokyo Los Angeles.