Richard and Rosemary Hatch performing "tamasudare" (Photo by Levi Sim)
Dec. 19, 2012
-- The Hatch Academy of Magic and Music, housed in Logan's historic 1878 Thatcher-Young Mansion (35 W 100 S) since January 2011, has just published its first book, "Taro-san the Fisherman and the Weeping Willow Tree." This is the story of Taro-san, a young fisherman in old Japan, who aspires to greatness in his profession, but fails until an old fisherman shares with him a critical secret of the craft. The story was inspired by a tale created by magician Richard Hatch to accompany his performances of a classic Japanese feat known as "Nankin Tamasudare."
56 bamboo sticks, knotted into a mat joined by 108 pieces of string, are manipulated transformer-
style to form various figures. In the Japanese tradition, the feat is performed at festivals by costumed performers who do a song and dance as they make figures with the tamasudare mat. "I don't have the costume, can't sing the song and don't know the dance," confessed Hatch. "So I wrote a story to make sense of the figures I wanted to make with the mat." Hatch's wife, violinist Rosemary Kimura Hatch found a violin transcription of "Haru no Umi" (The Sea of Spring) by Michio Miyagi to accompany the performance, which influenced further changes in the story. "Over time, the story matured and took on a life of its own," says Hatch. He began looking for an artist who could create illustrations inspired by the great Japanese artist Hokusai to tell the story. He eventually found Andras Balogh, an illustrator in Hungary, who was equal to the task. Hatch then had his friend, Yukishige Kadoya, a writer and magician in Nagoya, Japan, translate the story into Japanese for this bilingual publication which has the English text on the left hand page, and the Japanese text on the right.
Although the book is already in print and available online from amazon.com, the official launch of the book will take place on January 26th at the Thatcher-Young Mansion, immediately following the 2 p.m. performance of "Matinee Enchantee" featuring deceptionist Richard Hatch, violinist Rosemary Hatch and pianist Shannon Lee. The performance will include a performance of this feat, and signed copies of the book will be available following the performance at around 3:15 p.m.