“A Moving Trip of Firsts” by Issei Kohira
May 16, 2016
A Moving Trip of Firsts
Hello, everyone. I am Issei Kohira, a new Kodo junior member. Nice to meet you all.
From May 10 through 15, I went to Singapore with Kodo.
It was my first time performing overseas with Kodo! Actually, it was also my first time to ever travel abroad!
I was a little anxious as I left Japan for the first time and took the six-hour flight to Singapore. As soon as we arrived, along with the humidity I felt the cheerful warmth of Singapore surround me and my worries quickly disappeared.
Soon after arriving, we went to the rehearsal studio of the local taiko group, Hibikiya, who invited us to Singapore. Then we visited the concert venue.
The waterfront venue, Esplanade, has an outdoor stage and the “backdrop” features some of Singapore’s iconic tourist spots: the Merlion and the Marina Bay Sands. There was also a mall there that was bustling with people enjoying meals and shopping. So just being there was fun.
Kodo went to Singapore for a collaboration with Hibikiya, which has so many members and they are so passionate about playing taiko. Their performances also incorporate bamboo flutes and shamisen (Japanese banjo) and they often invite instructors to their group from Japan to give workshops. I was really moved by their attitude towards taiko.
During their performance, I watched them from behind the stage. They were so lively as they performed and I could feel their love for taiko. Their passion struck my heart and it was uplifting.
Meanwhile, when I reflect on my own performance, I have many things to work on as an inexperienced newcomer. It took all my might to try and keep up with the Distinguished Members and senior Kodo members. However, every single move they made taught me, and supported me, so I was able to give the best performance of my current capabilities and strength. During my first performance abroad, I learned where to position myself on the Kodo stage.
Leaving Japan for the first time and traveling overseas, I met people who love taiko and I learned that in only four days we could create such strong bonds, connected through the power of taiko.
I hope that this experience, full of firsts for me, will help me to grow even more.
Next up, I will appear in “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos.” This will be my first domestic tour with Kodo. I will be the youngest on this tour and I will perform with all of my might on stage throughout Japan.
I am raring to go!!!