December 3, 2001: Winter Concert of Yuriko Kuronuma
Yuriko Kuronuma Violin Concert will be held today in Kitakyushu City in the evening.
I started from home at noon. As I have a lot of time today, I drive Route 10 patiently.

Passing by the red fence of Usa Shrine...
... and downtown Nakatsu City...
What is this funny ad?

It reads "New Yoshitomi Ruin Rest Station."
The illustration map tells the history of this area, "National monument of Ohnose Kanga." In the age of Nara, there was a huge local government office. The ruin is preserved in a good condition well enough to show clearly the type of control in old days.
Many unusual designed buildings are for special product shopping stores, rest rooms, exchanging pace, and snacks.

I took late lunch here.
I found an unusual souvenir of killifish sold in glass bins. The number of the species is decreasing recently.
I arrived at Kokura Municipal Hall at around 3:30 p.m.
Many posters tell the Concert this evening.
The Concert will be opened at 6:30 p.m. The members of Kitakyushu Group of Friends are already working hard for preparation. A panel introduces Group of Friends. I was allowed to see the walk through in the hall.
I walked out of the hall so as not to disturb the preparation. I remember the good old days in Kokura area because I used to live in this city.
Kitakyushu City Office stand quietly behind gingko trees already turned to deep golden colors.
"Bridge of Sun" crosses Murasaki River that flows beside the City Office.
The bridge leads me to downtown Kokura. The City Office is on the other side of the river.

The City Office and Kokura Castle, just left of the building, make a good contrast on the river.
I visited Katsuyama Park in which Kokura Castle stands. In 1602, feudal lord Hosokawa constructed the Castle. It was then handed down to another lord Ogasawara. In 1990, the Castle was reborn equipped with the latest high techs. The unusual buildings across the street are a library, and a Municipal Historical Museum both designed by Arata Isozaki.
At the west end of the park stands Seichou Matsumoto Museum to commemorate the famous mystery writer born in Kokura. The Museum displays many works of the writer in the actual old house in Tokyo entirely restored under this shelter. The massive volume of his works overwhelmed me.
The City Office in the evening is flanked with many illuminated trees. I returned to the concert hall.
I came across a meeting of Kitakyushu Branch to welcome the guests.
The stand sells the books by Yuriko Kuronuma.
I was delighted to find some close friends in the crowd.
Flower pods of poinsettia give the atmosphere of a December concert.
The program consists of three parts. Kuronuma first talked her history and on Mexico in which she lives now. In the second part, she played her beloved music of Benda of Praha where she learned music in her young days. The concert ended up with the last performance of small composites by Pones, a Mexican composer.
Lingering melody of wonderful violin still sounds in my ears on my way back to Oita in the rain.

Oita Tenjin