ESTO ES TAIKO began in 2009 as the first magazine out of Japan entirely devoted to the art of taiko (Japanese drums).
Its co-founders, Gastón San Cristobal and Alejandro Lezcano, following a taiko festival held in Buenos Aires (Argentina), they got inspiration and motivation to gather photos of Alejandro (photographer) and a chronicle of the event that Gaston had written, so they make a printed edition describing in detail that event, where there was participation of the vast majority of groups nationwide and also the international participation of the shakuhachi and taiko player Marco Lienhard. Subsequently Paloma Lutzky Cogan joined the team, who also contributed with photos of the event to the magazine, coming to form a team of three people.
Given that the magazine was originally intended to be printed in A4 size sheets and high quality images, and also we did not have any income coming from advertising or sponsors, we were invaded by the feeling that very few people were going to pay the price of the magazine, since this was quite high. To our surprise, the first copy of ESTO ES TAIKO ended up being sold out in a very short time.
The sold out of the first issue motivated us to keep working to make a new one, but this time with a more complete and professional structure with varied sections, interviews to local and international actors of taiko, a logo and also a more elaborate and original design.
The second copy was another success and as a result came a third and fourth editions (2010), each one surpassing the previous in terms of information quality and exposure.
In parallel, ESTO ES TAIKO published all the courses of taiko in Buenos Aires during the years that the magazine was in activity with the print editions (2010-2011). It was also the first time that was offered to the Argentinean taiko community a common file that would pool all offered courses of taiko in Buenos Aires (wadaiko and eisadaiko), detailing description, contact, style, etc.
ESTO ES TAIKO’s engine has always been the passion of its members and the desire to disseminate and expand knowledge concerning the art of taiko and Japanese culture. As a result of this passion, the projects linked to the taiko of each of the members of the team grew exponentially, which generated not to continue devoting to the magazine the time and effort that was required to continue operating. So after two successful years of achievements, work, effort and learning by doing ESTO ES TAIKO, the project stopped in the year 2011.
Second Round: Starting Again
At the end of 2013, one of its co-founders, Gastón, decided to return to the idea of making the magazine inspired by many experiences, contacts and learning as a result of three years of activity related to the environment of the local and international taiko. The aim was to do one more magazine, with very complete and extensive articles with information that cannot be found easily in books and that was reported by the main actors and protagonists of the taiko around the world. Gastón would not write articles, but having a clear idea of the information he wanted to show in the magazine, he would contact the person in the world that he considered the most suitable and capable to write about it, giving freedom regarding the extension of each article and with the aim that each article contains high value and relevant information both for the taiko community related people to the unrelated people of the community.
Under this framework, the objective was to make three editions of the same magazine: one in Spanish, one in English and one that collects the articles in their original language they were written (as there was articles in Japanese and Portuguese that would not take place in their original language in any of the other editions).
The project started and thus collected more than 20 articles written by prominent people in the taiko community as Akitoshi Asano, Kaoru Watanabe, Yuta Kato, Art Lee, Lucas Muraguchi, Kris Bergstrom, Marco Lienhard, Hernán Arias Tamashiro, Jonathan Kirby and Bryan Yamami among other important actors of the taiko community at the global level.
This job required a huge work in translations, communication in three different languages, graphic design, and too much time in order to achieve that goal of releasing a mega magazine of more than 200 pages in three different versions.
The article´s collection, the translations and design advanced significantly, but full-time availability was required to achieve that ambitious goal and also, the team that was working together for the re-launch of the project also had complications to devote full time to an activity that was carried out ad-honorem entirely for the passion to taiko. That meant that the project stopped before it was officially relaunched, leaving an approximate number of 20 very valuable articles without seeing the light.
However, Gaston´s mind never stopped spinning the idea for this project, but he was also aware that the work and dedication that relaunch the magazine entailed could never be performed in his current situation.
ESTO ES TAIKO… reloaded
More than one year and a half passed after that last try of activation the magazine. That time lapse was another critical period which marked fire Gaston in relation with taiko, product of new and stronger experiences, as for example living in Japan at the moment. Inspiration returned, but rationality never went out, so he knew that trying to reactivate the magazine was an effort that would again end up in nothing, but at the same time had much motivation that those stocked articles may see light as well as to collect other new and innovative.
And so come this blog, as a simpler method and less use of resources to expose articles relating to the world of taiko, which also achieves a higher arrival as a purely online platform with quick access.
It would not formally be a magazine anymore but a blog. However, the essence of ESTO ES TAIKO has been and will always be as a magazine, so we will keep considering it as a magazine when we refer to it.
Officially the project has returned with encouragement to inform all the taiko players of the planet with all sorts of articles related to the world of taiko as an art and discipline.
All material included in ESTO ES TAIKO arises from the collaboration ad honorem of the members of the taiko community at global level and anybody else who would like to contribute to the cause with the goal of make a free portal of high quality information for everyone and where everyone also has the possibility of collaborate.
To achieve the goal that each article can be read in Spanish, English and its original language, two blogs will be running simultaneously:
• Blog in Spanish: https://estoestaiko.wordpress.com/
• Blog in English: https://estoestaiko.com/
The articles originally written in other languages than English or Spanish (as for example Portuguese or Japanese) will be downloadable at the end of each article through a link enabling the direct download, so everyone will have the possibility of reading the prose and original words used by the authors, which sometimes are distorted due to the translations.
At the same time, we will work so that every week there is at least one new article available, trying that most articles responds to a related event that it is happening in relation to taiko in any part of the world.
It is open the space to let us know your comments, questions, collaborations or ideas so that this project proceeds, but this time in an uninterrupted way.
We hope to enjoy this new platform with our passion.
Ladies and gentlemen, THIS IS TAIKO.
Gastón San Cristobal
Co-founder and director of Esto es Taiko