Taiko Lessons 1 and 2

I have had my first two lessons on Taiko drumming!  I really am having fun!!

I had hoped to share with you detailed information on Taiko drums but it is turning out to be much more complicated than I anticipated.

There seems to be a billion types of drums and since I don’t speak Japanese trying to keep the names and descriptions straight is beyond this new student.

During practice and performance there are many different sized drums in use with the many drums providing different pitches to astound the senses.  Probably the most well-known drum in any Taiko ensemble would be the ōdaiko, the largest drum on the stage.

Bachi is the term for the drum sticks used.  Right now I am using a very light weight set of bachi.  Taiko drumming is quite a work out.  The stance is a wide legged stance with a slight bend to the knees requiring good balance so you can move in and out from the drum.  (I made the mistake of wearing sandals for lesson 2 and my feet were not happy.)  The wrists, forearms, upper arms and shoulders are all used and depending on the strokes and rhythms you are undertaking the workout can be intense.  A strong core is essential.  I am grateful for the light weight bachi!

Thank you Marc Steuben for your continued patience!

Jennifer Lim at Arts & Crafts Showcase 10-19-2014, Rescued Broken Jewelry

I took my friend Jennifer Lim an huge plastic bag of broken and “I’m tired of this piece” jewelry.

I had been saving all this jewelry with no idea what I was going to do with it.  Since at least half of it was broken I couldn’t take it to the thrift store.

She does this amazing thing with bits of forgotten or discarded jewelry, she re-purposes the bits and pieces and makes entirely new pieces of jewelry!

I wish I had taken a picture of that plastic bag of broken jewelry, sigh, but here are a few examples of what she did with those castaways:

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Thank you Jennifer for being so fun and giving me back some memories!

 

 

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If you would like to see Jennifer’s creative pieces in person, bracelets, earrings and necklaces, join us at Simpson UMC on 10-19-2014.  Her prices are unbelievably reasonable.  All proceeds she donates to the Simpson UMC Chancel Choir for special music and adding musicians to help our extremely talented pianist with Christmas and Easter Cantatas.

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A light lunch will also be served until sold out.  There are many amazing artists that display each year and you will not be disappointed!

P.S.  If you would like to donate some broken jewelry Jennifer will make it into something amazing which she sells and donates all proceeds in support of the Simpson UMC Chancel Choir.  Bring your plastic bag of bits and pieces!

Surprise gift!

I received a surprise gift from my brother Sam to help me with my pickling adventures!

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Unfortunately the instructions are in Japanese, I am Sansei I don’t read Nihongo!

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But I don’t want to let my brother down so I tried to make pickles without direction from memory of watching my dad and from my discussions with my brother.

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These are couple of cucumbers from a friends garden with some salt a little miso and the secret ingredient.  She and her husband are not Japanese but love Japanese food and are my guinea pigs this go around  This is after about one hour.  The pickles need a slight pressure so you turn the handle and the little platform comes down and applies pressure. The way my dad used to do this is he get a plate, a clean rock, put the plate on top of the vegetables the rock on top of the plate and voila there was the necessary pressure.

Here are the pickles after about three hours!

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They turned out a little too salty I had to rinse them off thoroughly add a little mirin (a Japanese sweet wine) and some more of the secret ingredient and let them press for about 12 hours.  I thought this was a pretty good result slightly sweet slightly salty slightly a little of the secret ingredient slightly crunchy.   Perfect for eating with hot rice!  I’ll let you know what the secret ingredient is when I have the results of the tasting from my friend.

 

Welcome to Sansei Life

Welcome to Sansei Life! A blog exploring and learning about the Asian community in Denver.When I was much younger I tried a new Japanese restaurant in Arvada called Namiko’s for a sushi snack. It was very good. I got into a conversation with Yuri the owner and she ended up offering me a part time job on weekends. I spent most of the first evening running to Yuri asking her what the various dishes were and what was in them and what they tasted like. In exasperation Yuri asked me if I was Japanese! She could not understand how a Japanese did not know simple restaurant fare.  That is when I really understood that I was a Sansei out of touch with my culture. I am ready to experience and learn about today’s Asian culture.
Issei First Generation
Nisei Second Generation
Sansei Third Generation
Yonsei Fourth Generation
Gosei Fifth Generation
Please join me as I explore the rich Asian culture that is part of Denver and Colorado’s unique makeup.Please share your stories and ideas on what you’d like to hear more about, events and what is happening in Denver in the Asian community.
Paula Matsumoto