Akane Teshigaharas A bunch of thoughts

2017/06/07

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Vol. 99: Sogetsu 90th Anniversary Celebrations & Commemorative Party

On April 9, the Sogetsu 90th Anniversary Celebrations were held at the MAIHAMA Amphitheater with a Commemorative Party held at the Hotel New Otani Tokyo.

More than a month has already passed, but when I look at the photographs, the excitement that I felt at that time comes vividly back to me.

Re-living the experience, I’d like to look back over that three-day period including the rehearsals.


On April 7, the first day of rehearsals.
At the start, I asked all the staff members to get together to say hello. Then, we took a commemorative photograph!

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The preparations progressed at their various spots on the site.

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Team Shuichi Hidano, taiko drummer

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Team Yutaka Oyama, Tsugaru shamisen player

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Along with the co-performers, the flow and all procedures were thoroughly checked.

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On April 8, the second day of rehearsals.

This was the turn for rehearsal of the Sogetsu chorus group Belfiore.

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For their costumes, each member arranged a furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth), an item from the range of our 90th anniversary commemorative goods, in their own way.

I was amazed at the individuality shown in their arrangements, transforming the furoshiki into blouses, stoles, dresses, and more!


This is the scene when an andon (paper lantern) used for the last large work appears: Sogetsu members assisting as volunteers carry it on to the stage!

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We checked how each scene looks from the audience. The man in the center is producer Mr. Yoshiro Yomo.

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On April 9, the day of the Celebrations!

Backstage, I got psyched up with the Atelier members!

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Then, we took commemorative photographs!

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The 90th Anniversary Celebrations were held in two parts: The Morning Session (Special Film + Ikebana Performance) and the Afternoon Session: (Ceremony+ Ikebana Performance).


The special film played in the morning featured “words of creation” by three Iemotos—Sofu, Kasumi, and Hiroshi—along with their images.

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The afternoon session started with a chorus by Belfiore.

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Then, in the presence of H.I.H. Princess Hanako of Hitachi, the award ceremony was held: in total 466 Sogetsu members from all over the world received the 90th anniversary commemorative awards.

 

The performance started with a piercing sound in the darkness like a fire-bell.

Subsequently the burning sun video was shown with sound and vibrations like rumblings. 

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The site was filled with a solemn mood evoking the creation of the world to the sound of a big Japanese drum, played by Mr. Shuichi Hidano, which resonated while Yakumo by Sofu appeared on the stage.

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A tremendous, overwhelming power was emitted from Yakumo.

While facing that sculpture, I assembled the wisteria vines and in final tribute offered the camellias that Sofu loved.

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Here, the stage was darkened and we were surrounded by the sound of thunder and heavy rain.

The shamisen team led by Mr. Yutaka Koyama appeared in the center of the stage via an elevator.

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To a swinging shamisen sound, I arranged bamboo roots colored red, glory lilies,
asparagus × lutzii, and Schubert onions in a bright crimson container.

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Next, the taiko team of Mr. Hidano appeared. Together with a madly dancing drum sound, I arranged Japanese apricots, Japanese podocarps, split bamboo pieces, lily-of-the-valley bushes, and black bamboo in a black container.

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After that, with some soothing music, the red and black works were merged and dahlias and split bamboo pieces were added to complete the work.

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Thunderous applause arose from the audience!

 

The stage then turned dark again. Here, WRECKING CREW ORCHESTRA・EL SQUAD appeared.

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Their articulate dance raised the excitement in the audience!

 

The stage dynamically developed into the large work for the climax.

A huge bamboo object emerged, rising up from the darkness. When it was slowly separated into right and left, a large taiko appeared, looking like a full moon! Then, a majestic performance started.

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Accompanied by a dynamic taiko and shamisen, I was to finish the pair of works.

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Some driftwood came by elevator to the center of the stage.

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Then, the andon was added. 

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Just as I threw the spider threads, the lights were turned on! 

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The bamboo lines were set up.

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From here, colorful spring flowers, such as cherry blossom, pines, maples, azaleas, and golden-bells were added like raging billows!

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Finally, the bamboo pieces were all opened at once like fans, and the spectacular work was completed! Here comes the finale!

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Mr. Hidano, Mr. Koyama, the members of Belfiore, Atelier staff, and Sogetsu member volunteers who supported the performance all came on stage and acknowledged the hearty cheers from the audience.

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Then, myriad “wing hearts” were dropped and floated down from the ceiling!

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I wrote one of the following five messages on each of the wing hearts.

 

Believing in the power of flowers

Keep an adventurous mind

Arrange flowers lightly

Flowers make you relaxed

Every encounter is your treasure

 

Surrounded with heartfelt joy and thunderous applause, the 90th Anniversary Celebrations were brought to a splendid ending.

 

While still in the euphoric mood of these 90th Anniversary Celebrations, I rushed to the Hotel New Otani for the Commemorative Party.

The venue was already packed with over 1,300 participants!

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I had a big smile after knowing the 90th Anniversary Celebrations were so successful.

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Mr. Hidano and Mr. Koyama gave us a thrilling session at the party as well!

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Thanks to your warm support, the 90th Anniversary Celebrations and Commemorative Party, the main events, ended on such a high note.

Never have I felt so sorry to bring them to an end.

With a big Thank You to all those who contributed to these commemorative events!

This deep and enduring feeling will stay with me through the latter half of our 90th anniversary year, giving power for the coming centennial!

 

 

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