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               piece  ≫ME-GUMI



About 280 years ago, when Tokyo was still known and called Edo, there were forty-eight groups of firefighters in each town.

Each group was named after the forty-eight letters that form the Japanese language.

In those days, the Japanese houses were made of woods, paper, and clay.
Once a fire started in one place, the flying sparks could easily and instantly start a fire on the house next door.
As a result, the firefighters played a critical role in order to protect the town from fire.
To avoid the spread of fire and rescue the victims, they dauntlessly jumped into the blazing fire and broke down the flaming houses.
The town people considered the firefighters heroes for their courage, humanity, and a sense of justice.

Each group had their own matoi, a sign that was used to indicate that they are the ones that would extinguish the fire.
Every time a fire started, each forty-eight groups competed with each other to put their matoi up first on the place.
They were proud to put up their own matoi faster than any other group.
Among many groups, me-gumi (group me) was outstanding.
Lead by Tatsugoro whom was respected among everyone, they were always the fastest to put up the matoi.

Consisted of the energetic and vigorous young men, the famous firefighters of the town of Edo, me-gumi is now coming here…

Premiere: Chicago,2007
Choreographer: Kumiko Sakamoto, Masashi Mishiro
Exact Run Time: 12min
Number of Dancers: 10-15

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