Lawn Care? That's right! This past Saturday, we performed at another graduation party. As usual, we ended with Mushi Okuri, which means to send away the bugs. The piece was traditionally played while walking through the rice fields in Kaga in order to make noise and scare away the bugs and other pests. As I was explaining this to the audience, the father of the graduate said, "I don't care about the bugs, get rid of the moles!"
"Alright," I said, "Today we'll call it Mogura Okuri." (Mogura is Japanese for mole)
Later, as we were packing up our drums into the van, I noticed a rodent crawling out of the lawn and crossing the street. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be... you guessed it, a mole! I guess it worked. We sent at least one of the moles away. So... should you have a mole problem in your yard, just give us a call, we'll play "mogura okuri" for you and get rid of your moles as well!
Independence Day Parade, Plymouth, MI
A week before the mole episode we got up at the crack of dawn to participate in the Good Morning USA Independence Day Parade in Plymouth, MI. The parade starts at 7:30 AM and is one of the earliest in the US. As difficult as it was to wake up at quarter to 5, I was grateful for the early start because it got pretty hot later on that day. Mayumi and I played Odaiko for about 45 min non-stop and that was hot enough as it was.
There was a lot of positive response from the spectators along the way and a few shouts of encouragement from people we knew. Overall it went very well. The good news about next year: the parade organizer said they will be moving back the start time.
Here are a few pictures from getting ready for the parade: