The January meeting of Ikebana was held at the residence of Mrs. Sato’s at the Great Buddha of Kamakura. This is the same location as the first Ikebana meeting I attended in September.

The January meeting was held on a Saturday enabling family members to attend. Lucky for Dave, he was my plus one!

Julia, Dina, Dave and Brent (Dina’s plus one)

Even luckier for him the meeting included a kabuki makeup demonstration, a Nihon Buyo performance, Mochi pounding and Sake tasting! Kanpie!

The Sake was served with our lunch in traditional a traditional Sake box. The Sake box is made of cedar. The cedar enhances the flavor of the Sake.

The guest performer was Minosuke Nishikawa. He has a detailed resume with extensive training, international performances, and notable awards in theater and dance. He began by introducing himself without makeup and giving simple demonstrations of Nihon Buyo.

Following his introduction, he applied kabuki makeup. He started by wrapping his hair and applying a sticky paste to help the makeup adhere to his skin and stay flawless during the performance.

Next, he applied the white face makeup.

And then he drew eyebrows.

Once his face was prepared, he donned the kimono he would wear during his performance. He had an assistant to assist him with tying his obi.

The top kimono was elaborate and required additional attention from his assistant. In the picture, his assistant is ensuring the obi and kimono are secure!

The final pieces to his costume included yellow socks, sideburns, and a hat.

He was now ready to perform the Nihon Buyo. Nihon Buyo is a traditional Japanese dance dating back to the 18th century. The dance was originally deeply rooted in worship and religion. Over time, it developed into a more creative and theatrical performance. In the performance we observed, Minosuke Nishikawa imitated a stringed marionette doll. His assistant was the puppeteer. It was impressive, unique and very entertaining.

I was able to download a few pictures from the Ikebana Facebook page of the preparation and performance.

After the performance, we had the opportunity to enjoy different flavors of Mochi and Mochi pounding. Black sesame seed, red bean, and ginger.

After letting the guests take turns, Mr. Tago Yuji, showed us all how to get the job done!

All of this entertainment and we still had lunch to enjoy! A bento box and Sake!

Another fun cultural experience made even better because I was able to share the day with Dave and friends!