Sounds of the real Japan: Chindonya troupe, Shinjuku
'Chindonya' drum and clarinet troupe, Shinjuku, Tokyo.
"Chindonya" are a colorful, yet dying, tradition in Japan. "Chin" is onomatopoeic for the clash of cymbals, "don" for the bang of drums. "ya" simply means "someone who does". Chindonya troupes are usually employed nowadays to advertise the openings of new stores or renewal open events.
A chindonya troupe consists of richly outfitted and heavily made up musicians who perform with percussion and wind to conjure up an appealing and lighthearted atmosphere and either walk through the town with some sort of bulletin printed and chanted, or perform outside a business and so attract people into the premises.
This group was wandering the streets of Shinjuku, just west of the station, advertising a retro Japanese-style pub in Shinjuku ward's entertainment district of Kabukicho.
June 27, 2006.