Tales of Now & Zen
Item# Motoko-1

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is Motoko’s long-awaited second project. With the same team of creative talents from her first CD (Yasko and Archie Kubota-musicians; Eshu Bumpus-additional vocal; Robert B. Smyth-producer) Motoko created a unique blend of folklore, myth, and original tales. You will learn how a Japanese grandmother lies about her age, how a proud single mother a century ago survived in a conformist society, and how it feels to raise a son in the U.S.
Recommended for age 10 to adult, Tales of Now & Zen conveys the spirit of Japan through singular charm and grace.
 
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The Promise of Chrysanthemums
Item# MotokoCD1

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Winner of 2002 Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award and a 2003 Storytelling World Award, The Promise of Chrysanthemums is a collection of Asian folktales, songs, and original stories.The tales range from hilarious to poignant, charming to sublime. Eshu Bumpus, an African American storyteller and long-time partner of Motoko, adds his gentle spirit to the creation. Yasko and Archie Kubota, Boston -based Japanese musicians, lend an authentic and exquisite atmosphere to the stories. Produced by Robert B. Smyth of Yellow Moon Press, the CD is recommended for listeners age 8 to adult.
 
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Like a Lotus Flower
Item# MotokoCD3

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Courage, hope, and forgiveness intersect in these poignant and moving tales from Motoko’s childhood in Osaka, Japan. In the title story, Motoko discovers her grandfather’s secret at his funeral. Half Girl is about her special friendship with her aunt, a breast cancer survivor. As a young woman in The Invisible Wall she is roped into meeting a young doctor for an arranged marriage. Like a Lotus Flower: Girlhood Tales from Japan features the original music by Yumi Kurosawa, a highly acclaimed player of 20-string Koto. Recommended for age 12 to adult.
 
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In Ghostly Japan
Item# MotokoCD4

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Immerse yourself in the spiritual realm of ancient Japan, where roamed demons, warriors, nuns and concubines. In this gripping tribute to Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), a Greek-Irish writer and folklorist whose understanding and appreciation of Old Japan surpassed those of many native Japanese people, Motoko offers a unique selection of six dark tales, inspired by Hearn and other sources of medieval fantasy. Marco Lienhard (shakuhachi), Mitch Chakour (synthesizer), and others superbly accompany her exquisite rendition.
 
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A Year in Japan
Item# Motokoyij

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This resource booklet for K-4 teachers includes most of the material for Motoko’s residency program, "A Year in Japan," in which she teaches about festivals, national holidays, and seasonal activities in Japan throughout the year. It comes with a music CD for all the songs in the book.
 
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Lion in Love
Item# EshuCD1

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Lion in Love (2004) is a collaboration with some the finest musicians anywhere. It is a labor of love.
1. My version of "The Three Pigs" in 8-bar Blues,
2. My adaptation in verse of the old Aesops (Aethiops) Fable, "Lion in Love",
3. An Ethiopian version of a tale found in practically every culture, "Kindness and Cruelty"
4. A story from the Panchatantra, again in verse, "The Wise Men and the Tiger"
5. An original folktale, "The Wax Child" based on the Zimbabwean story, "The Wax Children,"
6. My version of the African American folktale, "The Singing Goose" in 12-bar Blues.

Between the stories, I use African proverbs to "clear the palate." I find it is an effective way to let go of the previous story and prepare for the next.
 
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Dancing Granny
Item# Dancing_Granny

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Dancing Granny is a collaboration between Eshu Bumpus and Mitch Chakour and his family. Mitch is a consummate musician and not only performs on this CD but did all the technical work in his studio. Mitch's son Alex plays several instruments and his daughter Alecia lends her fabulous voice.
Our goals is to get folks dancing across the generations. We hope parents will dance with children, teachers will dance with students and grandparents will dance with everyone!!
There are four stories Three African and one Caribbean. Each has a place in the story where characters dance, After the we've put an extended version of the song so that you can continue to dance without the story if you like. ENJOY!!
 
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