Japanese Drummers

Kaze no Saiten (風の祭典) Drummers

Yesterday my friend Masumi invited me to go and see a Wadaiko (Japanese drums) performance by young men with Down’s syndrome or other severe handicaps. Their mothers were also part of the troupe. I was impressed to see them  play the drums powerfully and with such gusto! They were all enjoying themselves so much.


Aono-san and his Mom


Kageyama (center)  really seemed to be enjoying performing. Such an outgoing guy! He even gave me a kiss on my cheek spontaneously.(Aono-kun on the left)



I thought Ms. Shintani was really good at the drums. I found out that she had lived near me when I first came to this area. She remembers me because there were few foreigners living here then.

I realized that these women formed the troupe for their sons but that it has also empowered them and created an opportunity for the family to make a positive impact.

These women must be my age or older and yet they had so much vitality and spirit! We were caught up in their joy, too!


Kageyama-san, mother and son

I hope you all keep on practicing and performing. I look forward to seeing  your show again!


Emcee, Nagai-san (who is also raising a son with Down’s)

Afterwards, we had tea and zenzai at Masumi’s house! Thank you for inviting me!



Always in a good mood! Yuki-kun, Arigato!

Yuki-kun didn’t seem to mind a house full of people!


Wajima-nuri Lacquerware (antique)


Pretty in Pink

Mayumi loves pink! And her dream came true to wear a pink evening gown and appear in a Fashion Show! Along with 45 other participants, she took part in the 7th Annual Social Welfare Fashion Show. All the models were handicapped or elderly. One woman who had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage at the age of 57 and had undergone months of rehabilitation, wore a lovely gown and appeared walking on the arm of her physical therapist.

A picture in Pink!

Mayumi: A picture in Pink!

I was very impressed with the care spent on make-up and hair art as well as the exquisite dresses and kimono. The first to appear was this woman in her 20s who suffers from cerebral palsy. She wore a red chiffon gown and was able to wave and smile at us as she came down the aisle in her wheelchair.

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I was also impressed by the mother who wore an evening dress and appeared on stage with her three sons who all suffer from mental handicaps. The two older boys wore kimono and are said to love Sakamoto Ryoma.

Proud to Appear with her Three Sons

Proud to Appear with her Three Sons


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This mother  appeared with her 21 year-old daughter in a celebration of her life.

The show was a great success. The hall was filled. For many young (and not so young) women , it was the chance of a lifetime to appear in a wedding dress or kimono. Mayumi is in her mid-forties and often says she wants to get married. Although that dream may or may not come true, today she was able to have her special day. I was happy to be there to celebrate her day!

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