I’d been debating whether I should post about this concert over on this blog, and two weeks later decided to go ahead say how it went considering I’d mentioned it briefly before going.
So, Saturday November 6th two friends and I got to get up at some unholy time in the AM (7 or so) to catch a shinkansen to Kobe for the GACKT concert I’d won tickets to. It’s a relatively short ride at just under 3 hours.
Now, this concert, besides having had ticket sales limited to fanclub members, was special in that you had to go dressed in something that resembled a school uniform (or an actual uniform, of course, if you had one and wanted to wear it). But the mock school thing didn’t end there! People who’d won tickets were called “gakuensei” (but in one of the many puns, this was written 楽園性 which says “rakuensei” but the “sei” is written…oh, let’s just say it’s written with a different kanji than usual! ^_^;) and had to take a 3 x 4 cm ID style photo so that a “student ID” could be made for them! The ID had slots for “credits,” and one credit could be earned by going to a concert. Only someone who went to every single one of these Gakuensai concerts could accumulate enough credits to “pass” to the next grade. We were informed at the concert that everyone had “failed” the grade last year. ^o^; People who were going as guests of someone who’d won tickets didn’t get a Student ID, but they still had to wear mock uniforms and were called 他校性 (takousei) meaning “student of another school.”
So, we’d arrived in Kobe around 11:15, but after queuing to reserve our seats for the shinkansen back home that same night, and taking a few photos with the cardboard cutouts of “Student Council President” (meaning, GACKT himself) and crew at the concert venue, it was time to line up for 入楽手続き (continuing with the pun, this is read as “nyuugaku tetsuzuki”) meaning “Admissions.” After that, we all tried the YOU Curry at the ショック堂 (get it?), bought some goods, and by then, the doors opened so we lined up to go in.
Now, this whole concert lasted a good 4 hours, though there was about a 30 minute break between the first half which was more like a “culture festival” and then the concert proper. The event started up with, appropriately enough, a 始業式 (shigyoushiki), meaning Opening Ceremony. First, the “kyoutou-sensei” of the Camui Gakuen (that’s the name of the mock school BTW) literally hopped and skipped up on stage and gave a speech that included instruction on “proper speech.” Basically, we had to use old Japanese as responses. Instead of various greetings such as “konnichi wa,” we had to say “gokigen yo” (ご機嫌よ); instead of “hai!” we had to say “kashikomari!”; and instead of “sumimasen,” “goburee” (ごぶれぇ).
Then the bald-save-for-a-single-braid-with-a-big-red-bow “kouchou-sensei” came up on stage and gave a speech. I don’t remember much of it now.
Then, the man himself, seito kaichou (Student Council President), sloooooowly sauntered up on stage to give a speech. ^o^; Four audience members were picked to be fukuiinchou (副委員長 meaning “vice-chairman,” in this case, of the Student Council). Along with the name of the concert (“Fukinasai” written as フキナ祭), “fukuiinchou” was another word that for reasons I don’t really understand, was always pronounced as if with a stutter. That is to say, GACKT always stressed the two i’s as being separate sounds.
Hm, well, the rest might not be of much interest to those who read this blog out of interest in someday doing JET, since the mock school stuff pretty much ends here. After this point, one could say the part before the concert proper was like a bunkasai. There was a skit that was sorta making fun of the play Nemuri Kyoushirou, then a dance-off, and then…I think that was it before the break. After that was the concert itself, which was all covers. Despite only being familiar with 3 of the songs, I really enjoyed the concert. I hope I get to go to another Gakuensai someday! My plaid skirt will be waiting. ^O^♡
I couldn’t take photos inside the venue of course, but here’s an article on a Japanese page about the show with some high resolution photos! 「GACKTが本気で遊びの楽園祭（学園祭）を開催！」: http://www.news2u.net/releases/78122?ref=rss
Okay, you’ve read this far eh? You deserve some amusing photo to look at.
That photo was taken before I bought the official school tie. ^o^;;;
Speaking of that tie, last Wednesday was the first day of Mid-Year Seminar, a meeting of ALTs and JTEs. Since we have to dress super-formally, I put on my formal blazer (not the one in the photo), and when I looked in the mirror, the outfit felt empty. It needed something. And the red & pinkish gold tie of the Camui Gakuen matched my light pink shirt too perfectly not to wear it! So, I had a few Japanese people (mostly men) staring at me with WTF?! looks on their faces, which I found thoroughly amusing. The best one had to be this one guy on the train platform. I was going home, and as the train pulled in to some station or other, I see this grown man wearing bright yellow leggings and a bright yellow skirt. And when I say bright, I mean BRIGHT. The train pulls in, I see him…and he glares at me like few have glared at me before! I don’t know if it was because I was dressed “like a man,” or because I was looking at him in his “girls'” outfit.
You’d think two people cross-dressing on a crowded train would’ve had more empathy between them.
XDDD Okay, there’s enough in this post to give you, O Reader, your Daily Recommended Dose of Wonk. Don’t you just feel the life energy pulsing through you with unprecedented zest?!