June, 2017

This page is written monthly
by Harumi Okochi.
Sometimes Harumi's friends join.
We'd be happy if you look at
our previous issues.


One of the menu
"Tai" for celebration
Takashi Nakazato's 80th birthday

 Last month, May 2017, Takashi Nakazato turned to be 80 years old.
In Japan, the 80th birthday is one of the special birthdays of the whole life.
We planned a big celebration.
Mr. Bunzo Otsuki, Noh Player, a National treasure, offered this opportunity, and my husband accepted this plan. For half a year from November last year, we have prepared for the party.
I hope you will join this party, and let's be happy together.

The most impressive words at this party were Takashi-sensei's greeting of thanks at the end of the party.
He said.
"At the age of 80, my father, (the late Nakazato Taroemon the 12th, a National treasure) was a being who did not harm nor benefit anyone around. But, I, if let free, might still be a wild animal to other people. I might make a fuss."
We are all happy to hear that Takashi sensei will continue to be a dangerous person even after 80.
How thrilling!
Yasukuni Iida, a photographer, took many pictures and gave me for my web page.
Please enjoy.
 Yoyokaku entrance
Today's party is held here.
The whole premise is monopolized.
The Welcome flower arrangement at the entrance.
 To the party room, please cross over the pond.
 A Hakata doll. Playing Noh.
This is a famous Hakata doll artist Akiko Inoue's old piece.
 Sign board of Takashi's celebration party hall.

 On the stage of the banquet room, 3 Noh garments, 10 masks, 4 fans were decorated.
These are old and precious articles.

The green bamboo bar is a "Kekkai", which means, please do not reach over this bar.

 The temporal stage of Noh in the banquet room.

 Mr. Bunzo Otsuki gives the opening speech.
The gentlemen behind him are the ones who cooperated.
Den Okochi, my husband is the second from the left.

 Audiences are coming in.
 Mr. Toshiyuki Takushima plays the first program of Shimai.
 The second one was played by Mr. Yasuyuki Taketomi.

 Mr. Otsuki is a skillful interviewer.
He made Takashi-sensei reveal his secrets of life.
Sensei's whole life was told in a short while.

 Next program is Mr. Taketomi's explanations of Noh garments and masks.
He also told us the summary of the Noh play which Mr. Otsuki was going to play after this.
 During the time of Mr. Taketomi's explanations, behind the screen, Mr. Otsuki is getting ready for the play.

Taki Nakazato, Takashi's son, told about Karatsu pottery and the history of Nakazato family, the house of 400 years' pottery stream.
He is very shy, but his smile and his soft way of speech made audience happy.

 Mr. Otsuki's Noh play of "Yashima", a story of Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune and his lost bow.
 The ghost of Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune
tries to catch his bow which is flown away by waves.

 After the play, my husband and I offered a memorial gift and flowers to Mr. and Mrs. Nakazato.

 While I change the room into a banquet room, the guests were invited for a drink in the garden.

Cheers to Takashi-sensei

 When the room was set for the party, guests were ushered in again, and here comes the second cheers, by Professor Arita, the famous flutist of Japan.
Takashi-sensei has long sponsored the baroque musicians of Japan.

 People enjoy eating and drinking.
 The first table speech was done by Mr. Kawashima.
His small Tofu shop became Japan's top tofu maker thanks to Takashi-sensei's patronage.
 The second speaker was Mr. Mastuo.
His small sushi bar was now a nation- wide famous sushi restaurant, also because of Takashi-sensei's aesthetic sense.

 Mr. Abe, the young master of Gin-sushi restaurant, would not move though I persuaded him to make the next speech.
He was too shy.
His sushi shop is also very famous thank to Takashi-sensei's sense of taste.
 The thank-you greeting by Takashi-sensei.

I will not be tamed even after 80.
I will continue to be wild.

 The closing speech was done by Noh player Takushima-sensei.
Takashi -sensei had Noh performances at his house many times.

 After the party, I opened a small noodle bar in the lobby.
Mr. Anita looks happy with his small bowl of noodle.

 Until late at night, Takashi-sensei remained and talked with friends.

 Now Takashi-sensei is going home.
Snap shots of happy smiles
 Before the opening, at the waiting lobby.

 In the garden, the happy family.

 Second daughter Hanako is now a popular artist both in US and in Japan.

 A famous ham maker(center) offered a plenty of ham and sausage for the party.

 Kenta Nakazato, Takashi-sensei's grandson has now started his career as a potter.
A Yale for the thoroughbred!

Sensei and son's wife Atsumi.

 Masayasu Okochi, the 5th generation of Yoyokaku

 Masayasu's wife Naho

The best shot of today!
Takashi-sensei holding his wife Kuniko's shoulder.
We have never seen this!

  How did you like this party?
The last photo is one of the masks displayed on the stage.
This mask shows an old mans smile.
just like Takashi-sensei!
Thank you for your company.
See you next month.
 Mail to Harumi Okochi