‘Kokkara Yappeshi!’ or let’s restart from scratch!

By Kikki - Last updated: 水曜日, 6月 8, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

[From Ofunato city-my stricken home town]

-Great East Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Disaster-


A local amateur ‘Chindonya’ or a troupe of Japanese street musicians named ‘Cindon Teramachi Ichiza’ 

A local amateur ‘Chindonya’ or a troupe of Japanese street musicians named ‘Cindon Teramachi Ichiza’ has restarted their full-scale performance in Ofunato city. Their main purpose of performance is aimed at encouragement of tsunami victims and praying for their earlier revival.

Chindon’ya, also called Japanese marching band, and in the old times also called ‘tōzaiya’ or ‘hiromeya’ are a type of elaborately costumed street musicians in Japan that advertise for shops and other establishments. The performers advertised the opening of new stores and other venues, or promoted special events such as price discounts. Nowadays, professional chindon’ya is rare in Japan. The word consists of Japanese sound symbolism ‘chin’ and ‘don ‘to describe the instruments, and the ‘ya’ suffix which roughly equates to the English “-er” suffix in this context.

The troupe of street musicians from Ofunato city made a performance trip to Morioka city to promote special products in Iwate prefecture at the food festival held in front of ‘Kawatoku’ department stores on June 5. A peculiar music played with rhythmical drum and cheerful saxophone and clarinet sounded well on the street. Mr. Masatoshi Suzuki (64), the leader of the troupe, dressed in theatrical costume of a gambler during Edo period and delivered a new prologue arranged for current situation.

‘Everything starts from scratch.

Therefore, let’s, restart from now.’

Everybody in Iwate must restart from scratch again!’

Some children began dancing to the music of old hit songs such as  ‘Kitaguni-no-haru’, or spring in a northern country, on the street. The troupe of street musicians ‘Teramachi-ichiza’ gave its first performance 8 years ago by seven original members, including Mr. Suzuki, at a community of Choanji Temple, in Hikoroichi town,Ofunato. They had been also belonged to a preservation group for traditional local drum performance. They have been active in the community showing their performance at the wedding party as a part of entertainments and promotion for opening of new shops. The troupe was formed under the catchword ‘activation of their local community cheerfully and pleasantly’.

‘Teramachi-ichiza’ won the championship at the national armature ‘Chindon’ contest.


Ability of their performance is quite excellent ranked as the championship at the national armature ‘Chindon’ contest. Fortunately, their community is located deep inland and left unhurt from the tsunami. Residents in the community, including members of the troupe, started volunteer activities on March 11, such as distributing ‘Onigiri’ or balls of boiled rice as emergency food to the tsunami victims. The troupe stopped their performance temporary and concentrated their energies on supporting of victims.

Their first performance restarted after the tsunami was at Goishi-kaigan seaside.


Their performance was restarted at the area of special events for reconstruction from the tsunami which was held in ‘Goishi-kaigan’ seaside in Ofunato city during the long vacation season in May, ‘We really enjoyed in laughing.’ ‘Please, show your performance more.’ About 100 arrivals at the event site applaud their performance. ‘We wish our performance will help encouragement of victims.’ They reaffirmed importance of entertainment and decided restarting of ‘Cindon’.

A large number of requests for their performance come arrive from many cities and towns in Iwate prefecture and even outside of the prefecture. All Saturdays and Sundays in June on their schedule have been reserved ‘Seeing of audience who enjoy our performance makes us very happy. Let’s restart from now.’ After the performance on June 5, the leader, Mr. Suzuki wiped the perspiration from his forehead with a handkerchief.



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