Chichibu Yatai Bayashi

by Benjamin Pachter One major characteristic of contemporary taiko performance is the manner in which artists have integrated regional drumming styles into new arrangements and compositions, which in turn has exposed audiences around the world to some of the diverse ways in which drums are used in Japanese music. In works like “Suwa Ikazuchi,” Osuwa Daiko utilized rhythms from kagura-daiko – the drumming of Shinto … Continue reading Chichibu Yatai Bayashi

Convergence: Kenny Endo & Kaoru Watanabe’s album

by Kenny Endo   In 2013, Kaoru Watanabe and I released a CD titled, Convergence, which includes original compositions by both of us as well as improvisations and pieces influenced by Japanese classical drumming (Hogaku Hayashi). Kaoru and I met in St Louis in 1993 when I performed at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Kaoru was a high school student and was one of two members … Continue reading Convergence: Kenny Endo & Kaoru Watanabe’s album

Eisa エイサー

by Hernán Arias Tamashiro Everytime we have a chance to enjoy other groups playing their drums to beautiful, catchy tunes on such a colorful atmosphere, we, as part of the audience, cannot help but to let ourselves go and give in to tears or to jump on our chairs while dancing or screaming IA SASAA (even if many of those times we don’t really know … Continue reading Eisa エイサー

Why Hachijo-jima?

by Yuta Kato November, 2001 Coming back to my tiny dorm room in Tokyo, I receive a phone call from a taiko friend that lives in New York, Hideaki.  The conversation goes something like this, “Hey Yuta! Hitomi and I are visiting Japan for a bit. We’re planning on going to Hachijo since we made friends with some of the folks there, you wanna come?” … Continue reading Why Hachijo-jima?

Taiko in the battlefield

Long ago in Japan, taikos were used for festivities, religion, in theatre, among others; but it was also used to communicate between villages, to set their boundaries or even to notify town about storms or the coming of somebody important. It was also used to intimidate the enemy and also to transmit information. “The biggest drums with the lowest tones were used to signal when … Continue reading Taiko in the battlefield

Asano Taiko US & Los Angeles Taiko Institute (LATI)

About the opening of ASANO TAIKO U.S. by Katsuji Asano (November 14th, 2013) . Ever since I was a child, I grew up admiring my father’s figure as much as my mother’s, who supported him throughout. Surrounded by taikos as if it was a natural thing, I grew up listening to its sound; the workplace had become my playground. Back at home, visitors would come … Continue reading Asano Taiko US & Los Angeles Taiko Institute (LATI)

Brazilian Taiko Championship

The boom of Brazilian taiko started in 2002. Since then, the number of taiko groups kept growing. Not only the amount of groups and players but their technical level also has grown. I think that the “Brazilian Taiko Championship” (BTC) played a huge role in that evolution. The 1st BTC took place in São Paulo in 2004 with more than 20 groups involved and just … Continue reading Brazilian Taiko Championship

2011 North American Taiko Conference

This year, over 800 taiko players from all over the United States, Canada, Japan, South America and the United Kingdom enjoyed over 48 workshops, two concerts, various jam sessions, lectures and panel discussions that took place on the campus of Stanford University.  Due to the great diversity of activities, I imagine that most participants at this year’s conference had a wide variety of experiences.  What … Continue reading 2011 North American Taiko Conference

“Miyake” & Kodo’s Continued Arrangement of Regional Drumming Styles

In 1970, the groundbreaking wadaiko group Ondekoza was founded as a means to raised funds in order to “create an artist’s village where people can learn about Japan’s folk performance arts and industrial arts” (Kodo Cultural Foundation 2011, 37). Performers learned music performance techniques and received dance and movement instruction from Japanese classical (hōgaku) musicians, but they also learned regional musical and dance styles from … Continue reading “Miyake” & Kodo’s Continued Arrangement of Regional Drumming Styles