wuhaonyc Newsletter

Ruri Kippenbrock

Tenugui mumbling vol.04 – 1mm of difference


Kabuki is a traditional form of Japanese theatre. Ka (歌) means Sing, Bu(舞) means Dance, and Ki(伎) means Skill. Heisei Nakamura-za performed at Lincoln Center in New York from July 16 to 22. My family name in Japanese is uncommon, and my friends and even my family said I am not like Japanese the way I am, although, I have 100% pure Japanese blood (but with low blood pressure). Anyway, I have never seen a Kabuki performance in my life. Perhaps because I was nice to a homeless person or maybe the stars aligned for me that day. I was able to get a free ticket for the play “Hokaibo” (Thank you Vanilla Graphics!!!!!) only 30-minutes before the performance began. I jumped on the subway and dashed over to Lincoln Center, and the play had just started. Needless to say, I didn’t even have enough time to go to the bathroom before the performance.


Amazing, amazing, amazing; the story was so funny, and so was their acting. I couldn’t believe how beautiful their costumes were, how fresh the colors were, how attractive Kabuki actors are, how detailed their stage was, how interesting their music is… Most of all, the Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura’s eyes had so much emotion a 1mm of difference of expression; For me, he is art and symbolized the beauty of Japan. I could not imagine the effort and sacrifice they make in their daily lives. They have carried this traditional Japanese theatre through their family for many generations. I laughed, I smiled, I was scared, and I cried. It was not because nature was calling so badly, but rather because I was so impressed in Kabuki that 1mm of difference made whole thing perfect. Someday I would like to make Tenugui that has 1mm of difference from any other Tenugui. 1mm of difference, that is art and it makes everything perfect.

- to be continued…

From Ruri mumbling dated on August 01, 2007

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