it is my daily routing to watch NHK World via my iPhone 3G. Breakfast is not complete without it, since I haven't subscribe to local newspaper. What I do love in this channel is that, every segment episodes are really interesting. I do know that not all Filipinos like me will appreciate it, because we are most likely adopted the Western cultures... but, watching the shows coming from our Asian neighbors, makes me realize, well we have more things and knowledge to discover.
Since my childhood, my parents exposed me to different types of arts and crafts. One of the arts I enjoyed most is designing and paper cutting. I remember in my grade school days, that my classmates and teachers really loves me because I can cut perfectly heart-shaped designs without tracing or making some drawings first... It's kind a light achievement for me in my younger years, that I haven't realized that, my skills continuously improving...
Today's episode in NHK World is about the oldest Japanese art called Kamikiri, or the art of cutting papers. It is also a stage performance.
One of the well-known Kamikiri artist is Hayashiya Niraku. In his performance, he receives request from the audiences, and cuts the images out of the piece of plain white paper, without drawing an outlines. The act lasts only a few minutes then the performer (Niraku) asks for another request.
Hayashiya Niraku (林家ニ楽) was born in 1967 into a kamikiri family. His father, Shoraku the second, was a famous kamikiri performer, and Niraku entered the business by being an apprentice with his father in 1989. He has been performing on stage since 1991, and is one of a handful of professional kamikiri performers.
Kamikiri, is not just mere cutting of white papers, but it is also a story-telling. While cutting the images, Niraku tells stories to entertain his audiences related to their request. This kind of performances is also very hard, because you dont know what will the audiences may request. Niraku admits, each time he comes for his performances, makes him feel nervous. His technique is being updated to current events via news and television, makes his skills improve and gives more ideas.
... honestly, I'm being inspired to this episode. Hhmmm i think it's time to pick-up my lovely pair of scissors, and start practicing :)