Taro Hakase “I Will Go On A World Tour, the Pride of Japan on My Shoulders”



Taro Hakase’s 2013 Fall national tour started with Sept. 19’s performance at Tokyo Katsushika SYMPHONY HILLS.

Under the spotlight, Taro Hakase appeared in a black jacket and hakama, in an image of the mixture of east and west. His first performance was a composition from his newest album released Aug. 21, “JAPONISM” medley track “NIPPON”. A song showcasing Hakase’s view of the charming aspects of today’s Japan, it was a sound created from the familiar warmth of Japanese sounds coexisting with Western musical influences. The performance had the fascinating charm of a single strike of the sword, the appearance of the violin giving off a vision of a samurai. The audience, too, held their breath as the swordplay unfolded before their eyes.

Be that as it may, Taro Hakase is known for being a true entertainer, refusing to end his performances with such a tense atmosphere. One of the established traditions of his performance is the “Let’s Play Violin With Taro!” section, where audience members who wish to play the violin are gathered on stage. Called up to the stage this time was an eight-year-old boy, playing the violin that night for the very first time. Patiently instructed in how to hold the bow, the boy was able to play the third (re) and fourth (so) string together. Then, the band members started layering sound on top of it, and suddenly, people realized they were actually playing a song! Someone who was a total beginner had become able to join the ensemble. Upon being able to finish the piece, the boy stood on stage in a triumphant pose, and the audience members, too, were able to see one of the miraculous moments given by music itself.

After an intermission, Hakase appeared on stage again in a long red coat. Keeping his violin in a traveling case, he gave the impression of someone on a journey. He then played tunes from “JAPONISM” one after the other, invoking the glittering world of the Arabian Nights, the hustle and bustle of Morocco, the sea breezes of Sicily and the brightly shining Brazilian sun…

It was a diary of the world, as seen through Hakase’s eyes. In reality, this current tour will also include a world tour, which will begin in mid-November with a show in Korea and will span five foreign countries. He has already been abroad for performances in the past, but this tour will be his first time travelling with a band.

Hakase spoke with incredible determination in regard to the tour, saying, “To travel overseas with these band members, my heart is racing like an elementary school kid’s the night before his first school field trip. I will go on a world tour, the pride of Japan on my shoulders, to show Japan’s fighting spirit!” Basking in the loud cheers of the 1200 people gathered there, his final song became “Jonetsu Tairiku”. The blazing Latin sounds brought the venue to its feet.

The first show of the tour ended after about two and a half hours of music, with the final words, “We were able to get through the first day without any problems! I’ll be taking the energy you’ve given me today to every country, to the world!”
Taro Hakase’s world tour will cover six countries and 31 prefectures of Japan, for a total of 45 performances.

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