On a cold afternoon in mid April 2019 in the small town of Yamagata. It was nearing spring and the sakura flowers had not yet fully bloomed in the upper area of Japan. However, this weekend the atmosphere in the Kajo Park was so warm. Kajo Park is a large Park that surrounds the remains of the Yamagata castle.
Children were running here and there. Families, groups of youths and teenagers rolled out mats under the sakura trees. That afternoon Kajo Park was so lively with sounds of people conversing, laughing, cheering, and music being emitted through loudspeakers installed on corners of the park. I was also sitting under a sakura tree even though without any mat under my leg. It felt awkward to ask to sit on other people’s mat. Hehehe.
Not far from where I was sitting, a group of teenagers were busy enjoying each others’ company. It seemed they were students from a school and that afternoon they were getting to know each other. I couldn’t tell anymore of their background, because they were having fun and as a stranger I felt hesitant to disturbed them and ask. Their noisy sounds sounded so interesting. One by one they introduced themselves, then greeted by the other peers repeating names and where they from (the one who introduced him/herself) with repeated calling accompanied by applause. Their calling sounded very Japanese, whether from rhythm, accent, even intonation: “minami, minami, mishi, mishi…”. Meanwhile behind their voices, sounds of koto, a traditional musical instrument, recording could faintly be heard from the parks’ loudspeakers. There were also sounds of conversations between a group of youths (maybe around 30-40years old) on my right.
To be honest, my recording position wasn’t ideal. I only used my handy recorder which I was holding in my hand while sitting. My reason: on one side I didn’t want to disrupt another person’s comfort and on the other, you could say that I was eavesdropping and took people’s voice quietly from under a tree. So, I apologize if this recording isn’t perfect especially from a sound recording point of view, distance and the quality of the recording because the wind was blowing quiet hard too. However, the warmth of the atmosphere in that cold Kajo Park afternoon could still be felt right?