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Subject: Japanese Pipe Band in New York
From: Lowell McFarland <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Lowell McFarland <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 16 Mar 1999 00:37:13 +0000
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (99 lines)


The Bergen Record, Bergen, New Jersey, USA., has an
article about the Tokyo  Japanese Bagpipe Band, about to
march at New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade:
http://www.bergen.com:80/pnorth/japanpk199903141.htm

    Excerpts are included.
    The entire article should be read for accuracy and completeness.

    "Father and son are tuning up to help make a little history.
    They are preparing to march with the Tokyo Pipe Band in
New York City's 238th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on
Wednesday."

    "While he was in Scotland, Otsuka adopted the muted
blue and green tartan of the Stuart clan.
    The band, however, wears red and black Douglas tartan in
honor of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, head of the U.S.
occupation forces in Japan after World War II."

Loch Sloy!
Tuan Today
Lowell McFarland <[log in to unmask]>
****************************************
    The Bergen Record
    Learning the pipes

    Sunday, March 14, 1999

    By PAT KINNEY
    Staff Writer

     The room, in a neat and comfortable split-level in West
Milford, [NJ] is filled with the wail of bagpipes.

    The three gather here every second Saturday of the month.
    The Scot, Gerry Rooney, is the teacher. His students in the
art of bagpiping are Seiichiro Otsuka, consul general of Japan
to New York, and his son, Seisuke.

    Father and son are tuning up to help make a little history.
    They are preparing to march with the Tokyo Pipe Band in
New York City's 238th annual St. Patrick's Day Parade on
Wednesday.

    Twenty-eight members of the band -- pipers, drummers,
and dancers -- are coming from Japan for the parade.

     Otsuka, 55, had become enamored of the Scottish instrument
while in Edinburgh in 1991, serving as Japan's  first consul
general to Scotland.

    "One day in late afternoon at Edinburgh Castle, the sun was
setting and a lone piper was on top of the wall of the castle,"
Otsuka recalls. "I believe 'Amazing Grace' was the tune.
    When it got to my ears, it was so  moving that tears came out.
That probably was the moment I felt deeply attached."

    Otsuka decided to learn to play.

    "It was a real struggle," he admits.

      Back in Japan, he kept practicing. When Otsuka assumed
duties in New York, Rooney was recommended as a teacher.
Otsuka resumed regular lessons.

      Rooney has been playing the pipes since he was a boy in
Uddingston, nine miles from Glasgow. He moved with his
parents and a brother and sister to Ridgewood [NJ] in 1964.
    But on regular visits back to Scotland during  summer
vacations, he continued learning the bagpipes.

      But gradually, through word of mouth, he attracted so
many students that he began to teach full time.

       Rooney also is the owner of Pipeline, a treasure trove of
Scottish imports at his home. The array of authentic attire in
Rooney's shop includes kilts, ghillie-tie shoes, Scotch bonnets
with black ribbons down the back, white knee-high socks and
ribbon-decorated garters to hold them up, and sharp 3-inch
daggers in black leather scabbards to tuck into the garters.

    Bagpipe groups are popular in some Asian countries,
especially those with historic ties to Great Britain.

    "India, Nepal, and Singapore are very strong in pipe bands,
" Otsuka says, adding, "The Tokyo Pipe Band may be the one
and only in Japan."

     The band has won international competitions, such as the
Hong Kong Pipe Band Championships, since it was organized
in 1975, when Queen Elizabeth II visited Tokyo.

     While he was in Scotland, Otsuka adopted the muted
blue and green tartan of the Stuart clan. The band, however,
wears red and black Douglas tartan in honor of Gen. Douglas
MacArthur, head of the U.S. occupation forces in Japan after
World War II.

      Copyright  1999 Bergen Record Corp.

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