Another new space has opened in the Kitahama area of Osaka. Kitahama is a place I often used to visit whenever I came to the Mitsukoshi Theatre, which was in operation until just before the Great Hanshin Earthquake. It is a business district in the same neighborhood as the Nakanoshima Central Public Hall, which has been in the news recently after being refurbished. I originally heard about Chakra in Shinwakaura, Wakayama, earlier this year as I frequented Bagus (a word meaning "great"), a beach bar and live music space, which stands just in front of the ocean and is only open in the summer. Like that venue, this is a place that those in the know know. Located on the basement floor of a Japanese-style inn overlooking the shore, the splendor of the place seems to have spread through word of mouth among people in Osaka and surrounding areas, more than in the immediate vicinity.

No sooner had Chakra opened than the Bagus Band played a show there.
Chakra's owners, a married couple called Tat-chan and At-chan, were regulars at Bagus and are friends with everyone in the band. The concert was a rousing success that attracted a crowd of familiar faces, including office workers on the way home from work. Both Tat-chan and At-chan were born in Hirano, Osaka. While farming a field, they have called the Wakayama town of Nokami home for the last six years. Until recently, they supported themselves by selling miscellaneous goods, which they purchased throughout Asia, and original items of clothing at flea markets and a variety of other places. Then, in spring of this year, they managed to get a hold of an old storehouse - an ideal location - and with the help of a group of friends, remodeled it into the kind of space that they had long desired. The items they sell are carefully chosen for their healthiness. Chakra is a general store, a boutique, a cafe, a live music space and a number of workshops are planned for the future. The couple basically has no plans to publicize the shop, so it was a happy coincidence that I happened to find the place. With a limitless number of possibilities, it will be a pleasure to see what develops here in the future.