When Coronavirus threw our plans for Obon 2020 into disarray, one of the things we were most sad about was that we would not get the opportunity to come together as a big Obon family at our festival this year.
All year long, everyone works hard on their specific element of the festival and then we celebrate our achievements together on stage. It is a fantastic evening of shared joy and community. We wondered how we would be able to keep that community element and spirit of togetherness going and worried that people may feel isolated and disconnected at such a difficult time.
So we came up with the idea of Quarantine Taiso! Radio Taiso (Radio calisthenics) is Japan’s three minute, communal exercise routine that has been broadcast every morning in Japan since the 1950s. It has become a part of every Japanese person’s childhood as it is used in schools for warm ups and exercise. Today it is still broadcast each morning and it is not unusual to see groups of people of all ages doing their stretches and bends to the jaunty piano music wherever they may be!
Our Quarantine Taiso is broadcast over Zoom three mornings a week at 11am. It’s wonderful to see familiar faces pop up on the screen and we have people from all our different groups and workshops coming together. It only takes a few minutes but its a great way to get your day going and it makes us all feel a little bit more connected and a little bit happier, and fitter!
Many thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund for Northern Ireland for their support for this project.
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