winter in chichibu
Asialink arts residency with Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan
by kirsty beilharz
This book shows fragments of my journey of discovery - cultural, musical, Zen, environmental and personal , during 3 months in autumn to winter, Japan 2007-8. This centred around Chichibu-shi Saitama-ken (approximately 110 minutes north-west of Tokyo by express train) in the country, amongst spectacular mountains. One of Chichibu's attractions is its 34 (Buddhist Kannon) Temple Shikoku pilgrimage, that I pursued by bicycle. Another annual feature in Chichibu is its Yomatsuri (night festival) and three major Shinto shrines - Chichibu Jinja, Mitsumine Jinja and Hodo Jinja - all I visited with Megumi-san. Finally, the other and original reason for practising and composing in Chichibu, is that it's home to Kakizakai Sensei (Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan) with whom I studied honkyoku. This performing Arts Residency was awarded by Asialink (Melbourne University), funded by the Australia Council for the Arts and NSW Ministry of the Arts to study shakuhachi and contemporary music composition integrating traditional Japanese instruments and to develop interactive digital music, hosted by the Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan in Japan: it provided a unique cultural and educational experience.
I am a contemporary music composer. My interests include: shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute); cycling; photography; Zen; digital, interactive and analogue art.