Marianas Variety

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    Tuesday, November 19, 2019-9:14:59P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Japanese harp players entertain Saipan

VISITING members of the Kimuraryu Taishogoto delighted music lovers on Saipan during a cultural exchange friendship concert on Saturday night in the Fiesta Banquet Room of Hafadai Beach Hotel.

Japan Consul Koji Hino, who is a musician himself, described the performance of the 26 players on the Taishogoto — a Japanese stringed instrument — as “very marvelous and highly appreciated.”

“We hope they will continue this program in the future,” said Hino who was accompanied by his wife Reiko.

Aging Office Director Walter Manglona, a local recording artist, songwriter and musician, said he appreciated the professionalism of the Japanese Taishogoto players.

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“They expanded traditional playing and blended it with modern tunes,” he said.

The Kimuraryu Taishogoto group performed at least 10 traditional Japanese and American folk songs and contemporary music.

Manglona, who has been conducting voice lessons at the Aging Center, attended the concert with seven senior citizens.

The Japanese musicians arrived on Saipan on Saturday morning and were led by grandmaster Hosui Kimura and master Hoyo Kubota of the Kimura School of Taishogoto. They paid a courtesy visit at the Saipan Mayor’s Office in the Ladera Center in Oleai, Beach Road.

Their three-day visit on Saipan was sponsored by Saipan Business Language Institute president Ikuo Yoshizawa.

Saipan Mayor Donald G. Flores said the group is willing to come back and teach local residents how to play the Taisho harp.

His office will be coordinating with the Taishogoto School to arrange for the music lessons once they can get a good number local people who want to learn the Japanese harp.

“They played very good music and the audience was really impressed,” Flores said, referring to the concert on Saturday night.

Kimura, the founder of the Taishogoto School in Japan, said it was his third visit to Saipan.

Through interpreter Kazuyo Tojo, Kimura told Variety that he established the school to preserve the traditional music and instruments of Japan.

The Taishogoto students are from kindergarten to high-school age, he said.

Kimura said he managed to get the interest of Japanese, especially the young generation, to play the Taisho harp by combining traditional music with modern melodies.

The Taishogoto School has several branches in Japan, Canada and China and has more than 2,000 students and around 780 instructors.

During the concert on Saturday, the local groups Southern Warriors and Southern Bwaii Dancers also performed.

Kimura said they have visited more than 30 foreign countries to hold cultural concerts and give Taishogoto demonstrations.

After the concert in the Hafadai Fiesta Banquet Room, members of the audience were given a chance to play the Taisho harp with the assistance of the Japanese performers.

According to Kimura, “We are promoting the excellence and values of Taishogoto by illuminating people’s mind through our concerts and demonstrations.”

He said one of their objectives is to popularize teaching methods influenced by music therapy through the Taishogoto.