Tag Archives: Shamisen

Drew in the Press

Time to clean some house around here. I’ve got snippets of this and tidbits of that that I need to get rid of, so without further ado, I present: Drew in the Press!

We’re gonna run through these chronologically, with pictures linked at the end of each section. The pictures today are all scans, so if they’re slightly crooked it’s because I scanned them poorly, not because I have no sense of balance…

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Heaths Come to Japan – Day 6 – Shamisen Surprise, Overnight Ferry

Friday, Day 6 began bright and early as we caught a morning train back to Beppu to give us time to take a breather before we boarded the overnight ferry for Osaka that evening. I took advantage of the low number of passengers to grab another hour or so of sleep as we quietly zoomed through the beautiful Kyushu countryside.


The weather remained unchanged with it’s slight drizzle and low-hanging clouds, but I’ve always felt that sort of stuff lends an extra bit of beauty to a lush countryside panorama.

Continue reading Heaths Come to Japan – Day 6 – Shamisen Surprise, Overnight Ferry

Welcome Back to Reality – Shamisen-a-palooza

Well, as of now I should be back to the regular every-other-day or so cycle of journal updates. In regards to my complete blackout the past 7 days, let’s just say that I juggle a lot of plates around here, something I’m usually highly successful at… and that last week about Thursday I dropped one plate, then another, and then they all just came crashing down.

No worries though, it’s all sorted out now, and the DJ train be back on track, homey!

Today, being Wednesday, was shamisen day again with Ishikawa-sensei. Like a good little student I had practiced my shamisen every day last week (excepting Saturday…), and showed up at Ishikawa-sensei’s house confident that I could play the 8 measures ordered of me without too much effort. I seated myself, we tuned our shamisen(no plural in Japanese you know), and then like an expectant mother he waited as I tentatively gripped my bachi…

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Learning Curve?

It’s hard to believe it’s already October 26th. Has it really been three days since I last updated? Today was my inaugural shamisen lesson with Ishikawa-sensei. Lately I have gotten some requests that I take more pictures of my activities. You must understand that I’m walking a fine line between “adequate documentation” and “obnoxious foreigner with a camera.” To this end, I darest not disrespect Ishikawa-sensei by bring a camera today. To do so on the first lesson would be idiotic, perhaps after a few months and some steady gains, but initially, no way. However, rather than leave you out in the cold, my trusty sidekick Doctor-in-Training Walter was able to come up with a picture of my teacher.

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My Luck Knows No Bounds

As I was sitting in Beppu’s Concert Hall not too many nights ago, I decided it was time to take my life in a new direction. Previously, sport and the pursuit of athletic glory had been central themes in my life, driving forces if you will. While I would not trade a second of the previous 22 years of my life on the field for anything, such pursuits have left my body, knees especially, in shall we say ‘less than optimum‘ condition. In short, while the competitive fire will forever smolder inside me, I can no longer sustain the physical requirements. Thusly, whilst blissfully reclining in an inundation of aural euphoria, I decided it was time to pursue more cultivated ventures. Conveniently enough, one might suggest that I am currently residing in the land of ‘more cultivated ventures.

What to do? “Well, why not try my hand in a traditional Japanese art at the foot of a master?” I flippantly proposed to no one in particular. After some contemplation I decided my new-found paradigm shift would best be served by securing an apprenticeship in a classical Japanese instrument. After some background research, I chose the shamisen. For most people, such musings would have never matured any further than that, ‘yes, it would be neat to study the shamisen, wouldn’t it?’ — and then we all have a good laugh and forget it. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, I am not most people.

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