(Continued from the previous post)
The next day, in the morning, we went to Hakata Za, a famous kabuki theater, for a workshop hosted by local radio station Love FM about kabuki. We learned about the different styles of kabuki, how you don’t have to watch a whole performance but can get tickets by the act, and how there are headphones you can get in the theater to explain the action on the stage. Everyone who went got Hakata Za cell phone straps as a gift.
Outside the theater, we saw the playbills for the performances they’ve had over the years. Turns out, the Takarazuka Revue (an all-female musical revue; you can see more pictures by clicking over to their Japanese page from the English one I linked above) performs there sometimes. I’m curious about seeing it, even though I loathe musicals. Don’t let that it’s an all-female revue make anyone think it’s a “girl power” type of thing though. Takarazuka was founded by a man and the actresses are trained in a highly regimented way by men. Visually, however, it is interesting. For any Ouran High School Host Club fans, Lobelia Academy’s Zuka Club is a parody of the Takarazuka Revue.
Right next to Hakata Za is the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. We saw the regular collection and the 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale. There were two very interesting things going on at the time we went. One was…I forgot the name of it, but the museum was doing research into how patrons “interact” with the museum. People who chose to participate got cameras and permission to photograph anything in the museum that gave a strong impression, not just the artwork. Now, there was a foreign girl there with the Japanese girls tending to the research, and when we first walked in I think she said both “Hello” and “konnichi wa,” so we continued in Japanese. Afterall, just because she was foreign didn’t mean she spoke English. (Though we later found out she did, lol. I think she was Australian.) After viewing everything, you turn your camera in, and they download the photos you took. Then, you do an interview about 8 of the photos. I did my interview in Japanese; I’m pretty sure I let my ideas be known, even if my grammar may have been a little funky. ^o^ Since we were told the point was to capture anything that gave a strong impression, I focused on photographing the situation, not making a wonderful composition. I regretted this in the end because all participants get a print-out of the photos they talked about in the interview. My souvenir photos are kinda whack. T_T
In the museum, we learned that the sculpture hanging outside of Hakata Za was actually part of the Asian Art Triennale, and that its name was “Dragon Boat.”
The Museum had a garden attached, and regular photography was allowed there. Interesting things in the garden were a player piano and large sculptures of what I assume are canaries.
After that we stopped at a curry place for lunch, then wandered over to Tenjin where there was a travel fair going on. At one booth they had a game where you pick the flag of an Asian country out of a box and win a prize if you correctly identify which country’s flag it is. Since the prize included that travel agency’s promo materials, they would give hints if the person seemed to be struggling. I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be funny if I pulled Japan’s flag? Naah, they wouldn’t have put it in there!” But when I pulled from the box and saw the result…it WAS the Japanese flag! ^o^ My prize was a portable hair dryer! I haven’t used it yet, but given how small it is I doubt it can dry my Great Mass of Hair in a reasonable amount of time. But I figure it’ll come in handy on rainy days to dry off my shoes.
Since we had to go to work the next day, we went our separate ways after that. All in all, a very fun weekend!