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Sweden

Taiko drum performance

A week ago I went to watch a Japanese drum performance. A man played on the traditional taiko drum together with a young man, who I believe was his student.

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The man said that he had visited Japan on several occasions and had been inspired by the music there, and now he played rhythms that came from different parts of Japan. Apparently he has been playing taiko drums for twenty years!

why_so_japan_taiko_drum_japanese_drums why_so_japan_taiko_drum_japanese_drums_3

After the performance, the audience was invited up to try out the drums, and drum sticks were given out to children for them to tap along with the drumming.

Here’s a closer look of the taiko drum.

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Here is a video of the performance. The sound of the drumming was a lot more impressive in real life, its hard to capture on film. Enjoy!

Read more about taiko drums at Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiko





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Hanami in Stockholm

cherry blossom hanami in Stockholm why so japan

Hanami – Cherry Flower Day in Stockholm

Every year the Japanese Society in Sweden celebrates hanami by organising Cherry Flower Day Festival (Körsbärsblommans Dag) in Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm. Kungsträdgården is an urban park area with a big fountain in the middle that is surrounded by lots of cherry trees. The blossoming of the cherry trees is a very special time in Japan (Ive written about it here) and I think its so lovely to have a bit of Japanese culture in Stockholm during this time.

cherry blossom in Stockholm 1 why so japan

Because of the cold spring we’ve had this year, the blossoming of the cherry trees has been delayed, and we only have little buds at the moment. But that didnt stop the festival. The sun was shining and it was a lovely warm day!

Japanese clothing

We saw lots of lolitas, coplayers and people dressed in traditional Japanese clothing, like kimono. It was great to see so many Swedish young people being so into the Japanese culture. The lolitas pink looked amazing!

cherry blossom in Stockholm 2 why so japan cherry blossom Hanami in Stockholm 3 why so japan

cherry blossom in Stockholm 4 why so japan cherry blossom Hanami in Stockholm 4 why so japan

Traditional Japanese culture

Traditional Japanese culture was represented in the stalls. Bonsai, shodo, furoshiki, igo, origami, try on a kimono and lots more.

cherry blossom in Stockholm 5 why so japan
cherry blossom Hanami in Stockholm 6 why so japan cherry blossom Hanami in Stockholm 7 why so japan

Lots of things to see

The stalls also had Lolita fashion for sale, there was a café, manga exhibition, kawaii games to try… There were fashion shows and performances with taiko drums, songs and dance. So much to see!

cherry blossom in Stockholm 7 why so japan

Here are some more photos from the festival:

Hanami cherry blossom Stockholm 8 why so japanHanami cherry blossom Stockholm 9 why so japanHanami cherry blossom Stockholm 10 why so japanHanami cherry blossom Stockholm 12 why so japan
cherry blossom Stockholm 13 why so japancherry blossom Stockholm 14 why so japancherry blossom Stockholm 14 why so japanHanami cherry blossom Stockholm 15 why so japan
Hanami cherry blossom Stockholm 16 why so japanHanami cherry blossom Stockholm 17 why so japanHanami cherry blossom Stockholm 18 why so japanHanami cherry blossom Stockholm 19 why so japan
Have you been to any Japanese festivals in another coutry outside of Japan?





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Yohio – Music video for Heartbreak Hotel

yohio why so japan

Yohio has released a music video for his song Hearbreak Hotel, the song he competed with in the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 (he finished in 2nd place, but was favourite to win). Yohio is very inspired by Japanese music culture, especially the visual kei artists, and the video was filmed in Tokyo.

Im very excited about Yohio and I really want him to do well in Sweden (and the rest of the world) because he is bringing attention to the Japanese music scene and showing people something that they are not used to seeing over here.

Yohio is signed to Universal Music in Japan and has worked with the Japanese artist Gackt Camu and the Japanese band Velvet Eden.

Here is his page at Universal Music: http://www.universal-music.co.jp/yohio





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