Our local Kamiyamada Elementary School's Music Festival was held today at the Culture Hall here in Togura Kamiyamada Onsen. As I am one of the outside auditors for the school, I got to attend and sit in one of the VIP seats. It was great to be able to see our Andy (4th grade) and Kenny (2nd grade) as well as the rest of the students exhibit how much they have grown through their musical education.
Most impressive was the brass band. I can't think of any grade schools back in my home town of Seattle that have their own brass band. Most such bands don't start until high school. However, as advanced as that might be, the thing that struck me was the use of the accordions. Whether or not it is good that an elementary school in Japan has a Western-style band is a separate issue, but accordions are an instrument that even in the West are pretty much relegated to folk music.
In my humble opinion,
Kamiyamada Elementary School is supposedly the only one in the city of Chikuma that has its own brass band;
The school is also the local one for this onsen town, Togura-Kamiyamada;
Our onsen town still has 35 active geisha, who's numbers are dwindling as the younger generation of ladies aren't interested in becoming geisha;
If Kamiyamada's school also taught shamisen and traditional Japanese dance, then some of the students may develop an interest in those arts;
If they do, then they may consider becoming geisha as they grow older.
Anyways, that was what I was thinking while being entertained by accordions at the school music fair.