Note: The festival (in Gojo, near Nagoya) opens with a fanfare from a seashell horn (similar to Viking instrument) that plays only one note. Performers are non-professionals, farmers and the like, who come from great distances to attend and perform at the event, held in the Soma district. The Japanese big drum is played with two sticks beating alternately. Only men play the big drum, sometimes strapped to their chest. Women play a small drum. Women, including old women, play the shamisen. We hear rice planting songs that pray for a fertile harvest. One girl sings a solo part, chorus responds, while other women plant. One group consists of men dressed as women, singing a rice planting song that has become part of traditional repertoire and is sung too fast for actual function. There is a song-dance performed in the streets at night to scare away evil spirits during a cholera epidemic. Performance on a gong-like instrument on a wooden frame found only in one place in Japan and seemingly imported from Southeast Asia.
About the session: Victor Grauer and Tadashi Hikada discuss recordings of a Japanese folk festival
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