So here is a video I took last Sunday during a taiko performance at a festival held on a hill beside the rows of temporary housing in Koizumicho, Kesennuma. You cannot see it from the position of the camera, but everything on all sides of this hill- basically the entire town, has been obliterated by the tsunami. Six months on, there is still wreckage in every direction.
Yet this town`s will to survive is unmistakable.
The performers are the children of this village who were fortunate enough to have escaped to higher ground on March 11. The dancing tiger, who it is apparently supposed to give you intelligence by biting your head, is likewise portrayed by some very dedicated town residents.
My favorite drummer is the littlest girl at the front center, who does not seem to notice or care that she is off beat for almost the entire duration of the performance. Later on in the day, when I am doing a craft workshop with these kids, she will string together a very long necklace of beads. When she holds up the thread to show her mother, however, all the beads fall crashing down into the dirt. While I and all the other adults present gasp and brace ourselves for her immanent tears, the little girl only laughs at the ridiculousness of what she has done. Then, surprising us all, she happily begins her project all over again.