Thursday, January 16, 2014

My First Trip to Japan for JENESYS 2.0 Part 6: Day 2 in FUKUOKA! (Ohori Park Noh Theater, HKT48 Theater, and Nishi-Nippon Junior College)

Our second day in Fukuoka was more eventful than the first. We were really relaxed on the first day since we had to take a long flight from Tokyo, and we had to get things settled at our new hotel. The schedule was packed, but thankfully, there were many interesting activities lined up. I got very excited once again since we were to visit the second performing arts school in our entire itinerary later that day– the Nishi-Nippon Junior College. I had a great time at the Tokyo Visual Arts College, so I was pumped up to meet and chat with Japanese students – the perfect time to practice my Nihongo. Hehe. 

But first, we went to a Noh Theater in Ohori Park to watch a live performance. 

Before the actual show, the actors and actresses gave us a short lecture about Noh and Kyogen – two forms of traditional Japanese theatre play.  Noh is a classical Japanese musical drama with a long and rich history, whereas Kyogen is its comical version. Meeting the actors and actresses before they step up on stage was like a backstage meet-and-greet before a concert performance. Hihi. We’re lucky.
It's a requirement to wear a pair of tabi inside a Noh theater.

Satria from Indonesia was the lucky “lady” of the day. The two Noh actresses dressed him up with one of the traditional costumes for a female character in a Noh performance. Male actors usually portray both men and women roles in Noh, so it was only natural that they chose a male student amongst us. The actresses even told us that Satria was perfect for the costume because of his built. In the past, the heavier the women are, the more attractive they look.

Watch him transform! lol. J
Photo opp with the Prince and her concubine. Haha!
And with a royal princess-wannabe from 2014. Hahaha!

Another photo opp with a Noh actor and actress
Selfie abuse. Haha. Niz from Malaysia saw Ams and I getting silly, and he couldn't help himself. J

They gave us a chance to ask questions after the show, and the actors and actresses themselves gladly answered for us. One of the questions I remembered clearly was about understanding the content of the play. Someone asked if the Noh organizers ever thought of making translations available so that foreign audience like us will appreciate the show more. One of the actors said that even the Japanese themselves sometimes find it difficult to understand the dialogues, since they use really ancient Nihongo.
The view outside the theater
We had our lunch at a restaurant inside Hawks Town Mall, and that was one of the best meals I had during my stay (Yey for meat!). As I mentioned in my last JENESYS 2.0 post, we went to the same location the night before to see the HKT48 theater, but it was already closed. Since we’re already inside the mall, we asked permission from our coordinators if we could leave for a few minutes and run upstairs to finally see the theater this time (Ams was hell bent in seeing anything related to AKB48). Thankfully, they said yes, after making us promise to return in 10 minutes (which we did).
I'm the 22nd member! lol.
The theater was closed (again), but we still took photos as proof. Honestly, that was all I needed. Haha.
The Fukuoka Yahoo Auction Dome during daylight (It was raining a bit, though)

The next stop was Nishi Nippon Junior College —also known as Nishitan!
The school has a newly established department for students who want to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. They called it the Media Promotions Department. From what I’ve read, it was established under the supervision of Sugimoto Aya, a TV personality known for her sexy and alluring image. I would have loved to meet her and hear her famous ero-voice in person. Hihi~

They have courses on singing, dancing, acting, and modelling, and all their instructors are industry professionals. Sounds like coming to school every day is suuuppppeeer fun!

A really cute runway welcomed us as soon as we came inside the hall. The students told us that the seats were reserved only for the girls, which means my first time getting a front-row seat in a fashion show (albeit amateur). Oh yeah! 

So you can understand why the guys from our group are giving off some major wota vibes in this photo. Haha.

But who can blame them? The girls are so kawaii. J
They performed a few song and dance numbers for us, complete with the signature idol “aisatsu” (greetings). Some of them have even created mini units a la Perfume and Berryz Koubou. There were solo song performances, too. Honestly, I’m not familiar with songs from female idols (I stick to Johnny’s music. lol.), so everything was new to my ears. But, of course, that didn’t stop me from appreciating the girls’ performances. Totally “idol” material. J
We were also told that the girls from our group can participate in the fashion show, and being the thick-faced person that I am, I raised my hand. Haha. I don’t really know what came to me that day, but it was probably because I got all shy when we were in NHK studio and missed an opportunity to have my face featured in imagine-nation’s website. I thought it’d be good revenge… or something. lol.

Here’s a photo Takkun from Thailand kindly took for me. I look really giddy... and short-legged. Haha!:
But my hair looked really nice. lol.

After the performances and my awkward catwalk, the students answered questions from us, and they also asked a few questions back, like the Japanese idols we like, etc. All the girls were shouting, “Arashi! Arashi!” Major fangirl screams inside the hall.
Everyone got so busy at one point
Can you find me in this class pic? Haha!

A few photo opps later, we had to say “baibai” to the girls. I told them to 頑張って下さい応援するから。And they were all smiles at me. I sincerely hope those girls make it into the business, so I can brag about how I met them before their stardom. lol. Maybe, I should’ve asked them for an autograph. ^.^

We had dinner in a Japanese restaurant that night, and my fellow Filipino delegates went shopping around JR Hakata station for some interesting Fukuoka goods.
Resto displays
The closest I can get to the great Ichiro-senshu!~
It took me so long to decide which Kumamon biscuit to get. Hahaha. I chose the cheapest one and gave it to my sister as omiyage/pasalubong.

Day done.

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