“I'm going to go to Takachiho in Miyazaki from tomorrow. It's a place that is said to have the origins of Japanese music,”
says Ryochu, who was interviewed this time. Born as the son of Itchu Miyako, 12th generation of Itchu-bushi (Shamisen: three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument), he is now on various stages both in Japan and abroad as a joruri (a narrative singer of the traditional Japanese puppet theatre).
This time, we asked Ryochu about new challenges that he would like to pursue in the future and the “essence” that he thought about now.
Ryochu Miyako Itchu-bushi, Joruri
Since the early days of his life, he began to practice Japanese traditional music, Itchu-bushi, for his father, and his predecessor, Tokyo. Regularly organizes his own concert “Meeting in Tokyo”. Served as a purifier for concerts and dance performances, and appeared in many performances overseas (Berlin, New York, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, etc.). In addition to performance activities, lectures, radio appearances, Joruri instruction, etc. Participated as a song in the image album (CD) of the Studio Ghibli movie “Spirited Away”
* “Jorurikata” refers to Tayu who tells the story along with the shamisen.
What is the Itchu bushi?
Ichinakabushi is said to be particularly elaborate and elegant music among shamisen music, and has been handed down for over 300 years since the Edo period. The number of sounds is small, and the knots and shamisen are not soft, so it may seem natural when you listen to them for the first time, but there is a depth in each sound, the fineness, the sound and the sound The quietness between them is a unique attraction. In the Edo period, everyone listened and practiced, and the world was popular, and it was loved and enjoyed by the upper class of townspeople.
It is never be completed. That is why it is always new.
- What are you currently spending on your daily activities, such as performances at home and abroad and training for your disciples?
I'm doing three things now - Getting on the stage, Practicing, and Teaching.
Of course, the time for the stage and apprentices to be rehearsed is fixed, but not every day. In some cases, I do it all day, or 2-3 hours a day.
- Is there anything you have to keep in mind when managing the three times?
First of all, I will practice for the closest stage, but to tell the truth, I always think that it is on the stage somewhere unfinished. Of course I'm going to do as much as I can, but it's still somewhere. It may be in any world, but I don't think it will be completed no matter how much you do. That's why, always thought is that it is not also done new things. I think that I have to study in my daily life, other than the songs that I have to do on the stage. The accumulation of new things fills the remaining few percent until completion. However, it is very difficult to keep doing new things that are not directly related to the stage in front of you.
I like singing, just as much as I used to as a child.
- I heard that it has been about 30 years since I started the middle section, but how did you finish it?
Since my father was a shamisen player from the time I was born, I had been practicing since the age of three. It was already everyday when I was confident.
When I was in kindergarten or elementary school, I loved singing anime, and I was a kid who was singing on my way home from school or riding a bicycle. I remember singing all the songs that each character sings, such as “Dragon Ball” or “Ranma 1/2”.
When I was a child, the middle passage was an extension of my favorite song.
I still remember it, but I was very regretted as a person who loves songs. Anime songs can be easily uttered from the mouth, but I feel sorry that I couldn't do the middle verse at all, and I wanted to be able to do it.
- I don't think there are many people studying around Joruri, but what did you think of when you were a student?
My father said, “Be free.” “If you have a favorite job, you can go there.” "If you don't like it, it's rather rude to the middle."
Only high school students actually decided the way. I started to learn about the contents and details of the song, and I thought that I would like to enjoy the whole life, “I might enjoy it for the rest of my life” and “I want to do my best for the rest of my life”.
I think it was very early, but when I was 17 years old, I got the name “Ryochu Totsu” and began to appear on stage as a professional “Junchu Ichijo”.
- Making a decision when you were a high school student was a big thing, but what was the reason you wanted to do your best?
At that time, I had a trip to America with my father. It was my father's vacation trip, but during that period, a Japanese who I knew in the United States called me home and held a small concert like a salon party. I remember that there were about 30 local Americans and Japanese people. After interpreting the commentary in English, my father played and spoke at that time, and I was just listening to the side.
After the performance, all the people who were listening were impressed by the fact that they were approaching the father, and some people expressed their excitement and asked for a handshake. I was watching it very close and I felt very happy that I was practicing every day and that the music I faced was something that could make people so happy. At that time, I was really moved by touching various wonderful arts such as musicals and orchestras.
However, I felt proud at that time, even though the middle passage was not as close to what I had seen. Those experiences gave me a great opportunity to think that I want to do my best.
- My image of your father Itchu is playing the shamisen, but the image of you are narrating.
I think there was a way for me to play the shamisen. I've always loved to speak, so it was a natural flow. Basically, it will be either full-time at talks in shamisen. Of course, in order to talk about Joruri, I also learn the shamisen, and when I teach my disciple or play at a very small meeting, I'm dedicated to the stage.
Some people do it with both wheels, but that is quite unusual. First of all, the balance approaches one, and both are extremely steep. For example, it feels like Nippon Ham's Otani (a baseball player). There are few people who can both throw / hit in baseball and stop by either, but Otani can do both. Such a person is rare in any world.
The amount of "regret" and "joy" increases with age,