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2010 - 2014 Actor at Traveling Musical Theatre Troupe 'Frusato Caravan'
Furusato Caravan was a unique musical troupe who constantly toured around Japan with their colourful van. 'Furusato' means hometown or countryside in Japanese.
They traveled everywhere to bring the joy of musical for people in rural towns who never watched theatre.
Its plays were originally composed by company's artistic director, drawing from his extensive interviews with various people living in rural villages and towns. The musicals depicts real and rich stories of people, animals, nature and the cycle of life.
The stories behind beautiful landscapes and nostalgic sceneries of Furusato, which lays in every Japanese people's heart.
Farmers who takes care of terraced rice fields, fisherman who plants trees in the mountain, traditional hunters who respects the spirits and animals of the woods, local fire brigades who protects their towns, small but lively business and shops on traditional Shotengai (shopping street), post man, truck drivers, foresters, artisans of traditional crafts, gardeners, builders, cheerful kids playing in a river, school girls on a cycle, elders gathering at a small pave between vegetable fields.
Their stories are no different than a story which every theatre has been depicting universally, people's struggles and joys.
Sadly, these small villages are facing numerous issues such as population decline, environmental destructions and climate change, natural disasters like Tsunami, earthquakes, typhoons and floods.
However, every time when people face difficulties, the community gets together and
build again what they have lost.
The musical is a song of praise and invigoration dedicated for these 'ordinary' people.
I remember people telling me 'I was really moved. Thank you'
with their warm tears in their eyes after the play.
And I think what moved them is that the musical makes
audiences realise about the simple pleasure of life, and how small things in everyday life is a great things. And we sing and dance about it from our heart.
The rhythm of our heart beat, the joy to breathe, the desire to hold one's hand, and the impulse to sing loud.
Musical troupe Furusato Caravan went bankrupt after the government's huge budget cuts for arts and culture. Although the musical kept going for a while as local organisations and committees supported the musical, actors and staffs were slowly decreasing as the company could not pay them anymore, and aged actors could not keep up with its hard schedules of traveling and performing.
In 2015, when I was away from Japan, the artistic director, Katsuhiko Ishiduka died at the age of 78.
The company had a golden
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