“EXADON” by Tsugumi Yamanaka
In the near future, apparently one in five people aged 65 & over in Japan will be likely to suffer from dementia. To combat this, Sado Island Taiko Centre and Sado City Senior Citizens Welfare and Care Insurance Division launched “EXADON” in 2014, which is a course that teaches people about playing taiko as a way to prevent dementia.
“EXADON” is a word created by dementia specialist Mr. Yoshinori Morimoto (Shiosai Clinic) from these three words: “Exercise” + “Sado” + “Don (the sound of a taiko drum).”
Last year, the “EXADON 2014 Supporter Training Course” was held to teach supporters (future EXADON facilitators). This innovative project has been expanding on Sado Island ever since. There were 30 participants in this course and they came to Sado Island Taiko Centre twice a month for three months. At the beginning of the course, their sound was very weak, but at the end of it, they all enjoyed playing taiko so their sound got much bigger and really powerful. Over the course of those 3 months, they had all become taiko enthusiasts.
Recently, the first EXADON workshop was led by some of the EXADON supporters at a lecture about dementia prevention. It went really well.
When the EXADON supporters were too serious, Shinchan-sensei gave them this adivice: “Don’t forget to smile!”
When the workshop participants smiled and laughed, the EXADON supporters really enjoyed themselves, too. They all had a great time together.