What’s going on? Paganini and Balthus. What else?
Of course, as kenshusei, the guys have to be focused primarily on aikido. However, it’s inevitable that everyone has lives outside the dojo. For example, Herve has an entire social network from his previous life working in Kyoto as a yakitori chef. And as you’ve seen in the Kenshusei blog, Scott and Alex have become a kind of “odd couple“, traveling, drinking, hobnobbing, and generally enjoying Kyoto and Japan’s Kansai region together.
For myself, I had to find a job teaching English last year. At the beginning of each class in our school, we ask students to tell some piece of news about themselves. As a result, I get a constant stream of information about what’s going on in Kyoto–festivals, museum shows, local sightseeing hotspots, etc. Most of it is stuff I can’t go to, and it’s okay. For example, a lot of my students have gone to see the Balthus exhibit at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. I can’t really get too excited about this quasi-pedophile, and I’m a little embarrassed that people are getting drawn in by his love of cats.
But there’s something else my students are doing that I am interested in. The Kyoto Cinema at Cocon Karasuma, which is a large building near the Shijo-Karasuma intersection is showing a biopic about Paganini.
I think this is the movie that played in the US as The Devil’s Violinist, but in Japan it is just called “Paganini“. This is a movie I wouldn’t mind seeing, although I always have to consider before buying a movie ticket that I could spend the money on Noh, kabuki, etc.
Anyhow, that’s what’s going on right now in Kyoto. Oh, and chestnuts are coming into season! In Kyoto I always get them confused with mellons when I talk with students because the Japanese use the French word “marron” for chestnut, but they think it’s English.
Here’s some Paganini in case you can’t afford a movie ticket…