J-Collabo Spring Festival Review

By Mina Hiraiwa

J-Collabo held its spring festival at J-Labo Brooklyn on April 18, 2015. The festival included several unique workshops for guests, along with stunning performances by Japanese artists. First, Rev. Dr. T. Kenjitsu Nagasaki headed the Shakyo workshop for people who were interested in meditative writing in Kanji, Chinese characters. Shakyo means hand-copying Buddhist sutra with Japanese brushes, and it is used as Buddhist practice. The essential point is how you hand copy each word of sutra peacefully and respectfully, instead of focusing on how well you do. The workshop began with meditation guided by Rev. Nagasaki, and then participants hand copied the sutra while an exotic smell of incense was circulated. Next to the sutra workshop, Sachi Shimoda led the manga and origami workshop, in which participants immersed themselves in creatively folding origami. In addition, for Shochu (a Japanese distilled drink) lovers, Jesse Falowitz of MIZU SHOCHU and Stephen Lyman of KAMPAI.US gave guests a brief introduction on Shochu, followed by tasting of four different Shochu types: mugi (barley), imo (sweet potato), kome (rice), and soba (buckwheat).

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At the basement of the event space, Shino Frances hosted a number of unique performances by several artists.

“White Story” by //from the white room. Video/Misaki Matsui, Music/Jun Ando, Dance/Yukari Osaka, Costume/Akiha Yamakami

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“To All that Left Before Their Time” by Yuka Omori and Cristian Laverde KonigJ-C SPRING 15-14

“Purification” by Nobuki Momma and Rie NishimuraJ-C SPRING 15-12

Performance by CHIELA and To-ma (Kenichi Taira)J-C SPRING 15-13

SAIKO Project with Kaoru Watanabe, the founder of the Kaoru Watanabe Taiko Center in BrooklynJ-C SPRING 15

Rakugo performance by Sansho Nakamura
Rakugo is a Japanese entertainment played by a lone comic storyteller sitting on stage and using only a small cloth and a paper fan as props, without standing up. The storyteller plays different characters in one story by comically presenting human characteristics we all share.J-C SPRING 15-6

Contributors: marcreation, Kanamix Chololate, Miyuki Hyodo, MIZUNOMAI/MIZU SHOCHU
Photos: Kimio Takeyama