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4 October 2011

Hikashu - it means an Elegy

Translated by Heda Jindrak

Hikashu - it means an ElegyOn 27 September, at the V. Kok-ool Tuvan Theater of Music and Drama, a meeting took place with the group "Hikashu", meaning "Elegy" in translation. The leader of this Japanese group, Makigami Koichi, has been to Tuva many times, and this time he brought the entire group with him: Sakaide-san, Mita-san, Shimizu-san, Sato-san (Translator's note: Sakaide Masami, Mita Freeman, Shimizu Kazuto, Sato Masaharu respectively).

The meeting was organized by the Center of Tuvan-Japanese friendship "Kargyraa". The Center, opened since march of this year, works closely with Japanese center "Khoomei", headed by Makigami Koichi himself.

"Hikashu" is very popular in Japan, USA, and other countries; right now the group is touring in Russia.

The meeting was opened to a full auditorium by the young Tuvan group "Khartyga" with several of their own compositions. Then Otkun Dostai - director of the "Kargyraa"  Center, told about plans for the future, specifically, in the fall of next year, there are plans to hold Days of Japanese Culture in Tuva.


The group "Hikashu" has a totally non-standard approach to musical performance; the most important part for the musicians on the stage is improvisation. The musicians caught the audience's attention from the first moment of their performance, and held it firmly until the last note.  These guys, having started playing back in 1977, are far from young, yet they were leaping and running around the stage, using unusual means of sound production; but the pinnacle of the performance was, of course, Makigami Koichi, who played an unusual instrument that produced howling sounds, and he sang so that all the spectators were simply beside themselves with enthusiasm.


Beside that, the group had two guitars, drums and  fortepiano, and here and there a saxophone, flute and other instruments would join the action.

Andrei Mongush and Otkun Dostai performed a vocal-instrumental composition with "Hikashu". The evening was concluded with a Japanese song known as "By the sea, by the blue sea". Warm and joyful emotions remained after the concert.

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