Sunday, September 22nd. We made our way to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 for an afternoon of Japanese culture.
Did you know there is a great view of the harbour upstairs? :-)
First on the programme was the Rakugo performance by Katsura Sunshine. (We had introduced him briefly here.)
The "stage" was makeshift--a table on risers covered with red cloth--but it was good enough to create the proper atmosphere for a rakugo performance.
The purple cushion is called a "zabuton". That is where the rakugo artist traditionally sits on one's heels. As Sunshine explained, sitting in this position is called "seiza" in Japanese. In English, it's called "PU-NISH-MENT!" :-)
We have no pictures of Sunshine during his performance because he asked us to listen and enjoy the show rather than get ourselves all preoccupied with our smartphones and cameras. Good advice! We thoroughly enjoyed the show and it was a very quick one hour!
One thing we'd like to share... Sunshine's comment about how funny life can be. He is Canadian. (In fact, he is the only Canadian AND non-Japanese bona fide rakugo artist!) His parents immigrated to Canada from Slovenia 55 years ago and first set foot on this country right here in Pier 21. Who would have thought that their son will find himself here 55 years later, dressed in a kimono and telling Japanese jokes?
After the performance, Sunshine took time to chat with the audience outside. We really appreciated the show, knowing that such an opportunity was quite rare in Halifax.
Next was the washoku (Japanese cuisine) powerpoint presentation by Consul General Tatsuo Arai. He gave us an overview of the different kinds of Japanese food and eating habits. He also made us very hungry!
Consul General Arai admitted that he was not a comedian like Sunshine but don't let the serious countenance fool you. We loved his deadpan jokes as well.
"Japanese breakfast consists of rice, fish and miso soup. Western breakfast consists of toast, eggs, and coffee. I like Japanese breakfast. My wife and son prefer Western breakfast. Conclusion: We have Western breakfast in my home everyday!" :-D
The second half of his presentation was an explanation of how to make sushi. We were lucky to have Fukuyama-san, master chef of Sushi Shige, to do a demonstration.
As Fukuyama-san deftly made nigiri and maki sushi, making it all look very easy, the Consul General reminded us: "It takes at least 10 years of apprenticeship and training to become a sushi chef."
It might take a master sushi chef only a few seconds to come up with your sushi but behind that is years and years of hard work and training!
After the presentation...the part everybody was waiting for: Sushi tasting! The audience was most appreciative.
Yum! Yum! :-)
We would like to thank the Consulate General of Japan at Montreal for sponsoring these events in Halifax. We're a long way from Montreal but you still made things happen and we truly appreciate that! Domo arigatou gozaimashita! (...and we hope that expression is near the top of Sunshine's list of the 47 ways to say "thank you " in Japanese ! ^_^)
All photos by the ikebana shop. All rights reserved.