A SEED (Ichi-Ryu Man-Bai) is a show inspired by Japanese mythology about the humble beginnings of our universe. It tells the story about how life-giving grain first came to exist in the world, and how one, single seed can produce enough to sustain all life on our planet. The underlying message is one of gratitude for all we have and all that Mother Earth has given us.
In Japanese mythology there are eight million deities that they believe are in everything all around us. The show starts from the very pinnacle of creation where the first deity is born, paving the way for more deities. It then takes the audience on a visual and musical journey of Japanese myths about the origin of grain and how the first seed descended upon mankind leading to a great harvest.
Artists from Japan and the United States have come together to tell this story. The performances blend together the old with the new – traditional Japanese music fuses together with contemporary dance choreography. The performers wear kimonos rooted in tradition but that have a modern flair and the story will be told in both English and Japanese.
Director Yasushi Matsuura says, “Our mission is to spread our wish for harmony through our theatrical performance entitled A SEED: Ichi-ryu Man-bai. ‘Ichi-ryu Manbai’ means ‘a single seed can eventually produce millions of grains of rice and a great harvest.’ In this way, a single wish can spread amongst millions of people. One day, our wish is that A SEED will grow into millions and pass its spirit on to the next generation.”
Director Matsuura first began conceptualizing this show 10 years ago, but it became a reality just last year. The very first performance of A SEED was in October of 2015. The January 14th show at the Armstrong Theatre will be the first time A SEED has been performed outside of Japan.
In each 50 minute act, there will be live taiko drums, musical performances by renowned Japanese hand drum player Saburo Mochizuki and Grammy award-winning koto player Yukiko Matsuyama, and dance numbers by Japanese and Baliasi dance groups. Each part of the performance includes elements of traditional music, modern dance, Japanese kimono dress, and flower arrangement.
A SEED is a visually stunning work of art that beautifully expresses gratitude for our good fortune and the blessings we have received from nature. Come celebrate life as East meets West and we appreciate the gifts of Mother Earth!