Chapter 3: Spring: Among Showers of Blossoms

A walk down memory lane 2

Since that day, Oharu, Ryoko and Kanalu had been struggling to reproduce the dance. Oharu sang as many of the songs as she could remember. Kanalu recorded her songs and transcribed them into musical scores, and then programmed a synthesizer to play them.

Based on the photo, they worked on reproducing the costume. Ryoko looked for fabrics similar those shown in the photo. Kanalu simulated the costume from these materials using design software, and asked Oharu take a look at the image of the costume on the computer screen. The simulated costume was more sophisticated than that used by Shinto priestesses for their music and dance.
He had to revise the simulation many times, so it took about one week before he could finally move from designing the costume to the next process, cutting a pattern using dress patterning software. From this pattern, an actual costume using the chosen materials was made.

He put IC tags on parts of the arms and shoulders so that the tags could send and receive data via RUICA. With the costume thus equipped, any movement one dancer made could be transmitted to RUICA, and another dancer's movements also could be transmitted to the first dancer. Kanalu had worked extensively to develop a system that would allow various data, including people's movements and music, to be transmitted simultaneously to RUICA and to the costume.

The most difficult part was to reproduce the dance. The costume alone could not transmit information unless someone wearing the costume moved in it. If they had two costumes, one for Oharu and one for Ryoko, and the two wore them and performed the dance at the same time, the information of each movement would be transmitted simultaneously. However, Oharu was not able to move her arms and legs freely. Although she pointed out that Ryoko's movements were wrong, saying, "You should raise your left hand," "Your steps were wrong," she was not able to demonstrate the movement herself. While Ryoko was brimming with tears and enduring hard lessons, she sensed Oharu was more frustrated than she was.

When the pieces of music and dancing movements from Oharu's shaky memory started to connect bit by bit, Yukio and Takashi visited Kanalu's office. That day Ryoko wore a new costume and ran through the parts they had already reproduced. She had a RUICA in her pocket. Piece by piece, the fragments of melody connected into a recognizable whole. Takashi wanted to drum, so he brought his drum into Kanalu's office. He loved his drum. Guided by the sounds of the synthesizer, he got into the rhythm. That day Ryoko performed the dance wearing a costume with long train just like the one in the picture. It reminded Yukio that he had witnessed the dance before somewhere.

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