Concert in a Sculpture Studio

The coordinators for the next event, a concert in the studio of reknowned granite sculptor Hiroto Sakamoto, drove us from Issahaya to Saza, both in the prefecture of Nagasaki. I was dazzled by the beauty of the coastline.

Sakamoto-san’s studio is a huge, airy barnlike building, and beside it stands yet another of the Matsui’s handmade tipis.

Inside, timbers had been set up as benches for the show.

Amana’s sound check, backlit by a beautiful afternoon.

Naomi, the coordinator, and some friends making wristlets of hemp string and one bead each, for attendees to wear after paying admission to the show.

The book booth, featuring many works on Native Americans, outside of the studio turned theatre. Soon craft and food booths would join them, including one where I sold my books and CDs.

The sculptor Hiroto Sakamoto, laughing while I photograph him. Later we would see albums of photos of his large public works, including a whale fountain in a city square, a grieving mother and child for a war memorial, and some abstract pieces.

The Sakamoto home, where Hiroto lives with his wife and two children. The Amana band and I were guests there that night.

Hiroto’s wife made the carp windsocks outside their home, one for each family member.

Near their home and studio stood a Shinto jinja (shrine).

The members of the jinja commissioned Hiroto to make this traditional style monument outside of the temple.

Hiroto showed me the dragon he’d carved into the back side of it.

In the evening, candle lanterns made from glass bricks lined the path to the studio.

About seventy people came to the show, enjoying the booths outside as well as the performances.

Miho, a beautiful young vocalist, played first with her band. She offered powerful spiritual chants to the earth and the heavens.

I was on next, with songs from my three CDs. When I first got on stage, everyone giggled, and, for a moment, I couldn’t figure out why. Then I saw the Sakamoto’s small dog standing beside me, looking somewhat bemused. I said, “Where’s your drum?”

A friendly lady named Teresa, who had lived in California, volunteered to translate to the audience for me, as long as she didn’t have to stand on stage.

Last up, the Amana band, with Sachiho radiant in white.