The start of the Awaodori festival season is still many months away but it’s never too early to start promoting some of the many teams that will brighten our festivals in the summer to come! Here’s a mix of beauties of different ages from three different dance teams, the Daikonren, the Koseinenkinbyouinren and the famous Tokyo Tensuiren.
The few holidays after New Year’s is vital to Tokyo’s shopping districts and department stores do their best to lure customers with sales, bargain bags and performances! La Foret, one of the premier youth fashion department stores in the world put up this performance by the Yushima Tenjin Shiraume Taiko group (湯島天神白梅太鼓), which has to be one of the most beautiful taiko drum groups in the world! It was packed with people already before they started but somehow I managed to wriggle my way to the front where I crouched down (so as not to bother the people behind me) and go these pictures. They were just as fantastic as they look!
Two and a half years ago I posted about one of the great joys of Tokyo, the live jazz street bands that play for free outside some of the major stations, like this band. A couple of weeks ago I happened to see them again in the very same spot, some new members, but the fantastic drummer was still there! You can see a short 45 second clip of him in this video. Before I got my camera ready another photographer (blogger perhaps?) started shooting in front of me. It’s always fun to see other photographers at work!
Sometimes you just stumble upon amazing performances – for free – if you just keep yourself busy enough and are not afraid to explore the back streets of Tokyo. On a converted parking lot in Shibuya back in September I saw the music and performance art group Kao=S, with amongst others the gorgeous Kaori Kawabuchi (川渕かおり) and led by guitarist Shuji Yamagiri (山切修二), in the first photo, who is known among gamers and otaku alike as one of the main motion actresses for the hit game Final Fantasy where she used her sword performance skills to help give the computer generated characters a realistic motion pattern. I am not sure that performing in broad daylight is the most fitting for a group like this, but they pulled it off well in the scorching sun and way above 34 degrees heat. The musicians and sword performers combine to make an exciting and artistic show, I wish I could have gotten good shots of the entire cast, but most of my shots were lost due to the glaring sun blowing out most highlights. If you want to see snippets of their show I recommend heading over to their homepage here. And by the way, I didn’t do any photoshop on the girl in the last photo, she must have the most amazing skin of any human being alive in Japan today – absolutely flawless. Either that or she is a remarkable talent in the world of cosmetics.