This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Jun 8, 2012

Okan Khamen - Part II: The Parrot-Pharaoh

Before to present to you the nose flutes made by Kanae Miyazaki, we need to expose who the character Okan-Khamen is.

Kanae Miyazaki is a potter and an illustrator, living in Osaka, Japan. She was a craftman in Kiyomizu-ware for 10 years : « My job was to draw pictures on japanese traditional tablewares. I retired from that work 5 years ago. I make my opus in my homekiln now. »

Kanae is fond of birds, and particularly penguins, parrots and parakeets. Two of those live at her home - Pon and ChaCha - who are often the heroes of stories written and drawn by Komatsuka Nae (Kanae's alias), or the subjects painted on her ceramics. Opi also, the personal winged friend living c/o Opi Toumoto, birds photographer and Kanae's friend.

But it was not enough, and Komatsuka Nae has invented a new bird character : the parrot-Pharaoh Okan-Khamen (オカンカーメン).

« Okan-khamen is the queen of the parrots. She was living in the royal palace of Tutankhamen. After the King Tut died, She went on a trip around the world (She came to Japan). She has a high status, She does not talk and move Herself. Her strong bird smell is a symbol of power. Instead of Her, a bird in Her hands tells Her opinion ». Komatsuka Nae feels it necessary to add « This is a fictional story ».
« At first, I made it as a vegetable container for birds. But birds were afraid it, because it has eyes similar to a falcon ones. But bird fanciers were amused by Okan-khamen character. ». Indeed, it has become some kind of "cult" among a genteel community.

The name Okhan-Khamen is a pun with Tut-Ankh-Amen, where « Okan "means "Mother". It's slang in japanese. Okan-khamen's hairstyle is similar to old mothers hairstyle. »

The drawing on the back of the card looks like a western women with hair rollers. But Okan-Khamen hair style looks more like traditional japanese ones.

So, as you can read on the card shown above, the parrot-Pharaoh rides a bicycle, but does not deign to pedal Herself, and is motorised by a scarab.

So what is the story ? I suppose there are many. But thanks to the book Kanae sent me and had the delicacy to translate in its important scenes, we can get an idea : The archeologist Opi (Toutmoto's personal birdy) and his assistant Pon (one of Komatsuka Nae's friend) discovered the Okan-Khamen treasure and were able to retrace Her story.

Many many other pictures of Okan-Khamen, by Opi Toumoto, can be seen here (chose a Picasa link in the bottom of the page)

And the nose flutes ???

Kanae began to produce nose flutes last november, and made about 30 of them. « I am going to make for a while. I have not yet made a satisfactory noseflute. » Well, we can already say the large Okan-Khamen in our possession is a very easy and good hanabue!

At the question concerning Komatsuka Nae's playing, she answers : « Sorry, I am not good at playing musical instrument ». We would like to judge by ourselves!

Thank you Kanae!

One last word... I showed one Okan-Khamen hanabue to my cat Patafix, who loves birds, particularly when young and crunchy :) And Kanae imagined a meeting between Pon, ChaCha and Patafix, where the nose flutes are used as protective shields. Here is the funny drawing (the text say "Pleased to meet you!").

Don't miss the last post of this series : Okan-Khamen - Part III: The Nose Flutes


On the same topic, please visit (chronologically) :

- Komatsuka Nae, a talented Japanese artist
- Covered with gifts
- Okan-Khamen - Part I: Covered with gifts!
- Okan-Khamen - Part II: The Parrot-Pharaoh
- Okan-Khamen - Part III: The Nose Flutes
- Okan-Khamen - Part IV: Komatsuka nae's answer

Related links :

- Komatsuka Nae's (Kozakurapon) blog
- Kanae Miyazaki's Facebook page
- A page in English about Kanae's work
- Kanae Miyazaki's works on Toumoto photo website
- Opi Toutomo's Facebook page