鼓童ブログ Kodo Blog

Tag ‘Eternity’

“‘Eternity’ Performance in Joetsu, Niigata” by Koki Miura

June 8, 2015

Yesterday we gave a performance at the Joetsu Bunka Kaikan in Joetsu, Niigata. Since we are from Sado Island in the same prefecture, they gave us a very warm welcome with their applause. Thank you very much to everyone who came along.

At the theater, we received these treats.

Photo: Koki Miura


The presenter gave us one of Joetsu’s own “soul foods”: Sando-pan (Sandwich Bread). I’ve been to Joetsu many times but I had never heard about sando-pan before.

Also, we received two iconic Niigata soul foods: sasa dango (sweet dumplings wrapped in sasa leaves) and chimaki (sticky rice dumplings)! They were all handmade for us by the mother of one of the staff members.

Photo: Koki Miura

Two of our cast members, Mariko Omi and Kengo Watanabe, are from Niigata Prefecture. Mari loves chimaki and Kengo loves sasa dango, so they were both really happy! We all thoroughly enjoyed these treats!




“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour

Video Introducing “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity”

We invite you to have a look at this new video that introduces our latest production “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity.”

▶Watch on YouTube https://youtu.be/UExUU9LEBmQ


“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour (June–July, Sep.–Oct.)

[June–July] Kanagawa, Saitama, Gunma, Chiba, Osaka, Nagano, Kyoto, Ehime, Hiroshima
[Sep. Oct.] Chiba, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Yamagata, Iwate, Akita, Shizuoka, Aichi, Hyogo, Tottori, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Kagoshima

Full House for the Finale of “DADAN 2015”!

June 16, 2015

Full House for the Finale of “DADAN 2015”!

Yesterday we were delighted to welcome a full house for the finale of our six consecutive performances of “DADAN 2015” at Asakusa Public Hall in Tokyo. Thank you very much to everyone who visited Asakusa to see us!

Tomorrow we resume our nationwide tour of “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” in Sagamihara, Kanagawa. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Erika Ueda

The final curtain call for “DADAN 2015” in Asakusa, Tokyo

We hope you’ll join us for “Eternity,” too!


“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour (June–July, Sep.–Oct.)

[June–July] Kanagawa, Saitama, Gunma, Chiba, Osaka, Nagano, Kyoto, Ehime, Hiroshima
[Sep. Oct.] Chiba, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Yamagata, Iwate, Akita, Shizuoka, Aichi, Hyogo, Tottori, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Kagoshima

“Kodo ‘Eternity’ Blu-ray & DVD Released Today!” by Kodo Online Store

Kodo “Eternity” Blu-ray & DVD Released Today!

Kodo “Eternity,” on Blu-ray & DVD, is on sale from today! We hope you’ll add a copy to your home theater collection. It’s exclusively available from Kodo Online Store and Kodo performance venues.


Recorded: Live at Bunkyo Civic Hall, Tokyo, Japan, on December 21 & 22, 2014.

Price: Blu-ray: 6,000 yen (tax inc.) / DVD: 5,000 yen (tax inc.)



Blu-ray http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_78.html

DVD http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_79.html

Kodo Discography http://www.kodo.or.jp/discography/index_en.html


kodo2Kodo Online Store

Kodo Rehearsal Report: “Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 4–

“Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 4–

Original Japanese Article by Koichi Imai (Freelance Writer) ● Photos by Takashi Okamoto

Read Part 1Part 2, & Part 3

Accumulated Knowledge and Experience: Harnessing Knowledge Towards New Discoveries, Kodo Style



Kodo members not only harness the power and allure of the taiko, they find something new that transcends the taiko itself, and it is this indescribable experience that they share with the audience. That is a depiction of “eternity.” Once again, they revert to their purest selves as they face the taiko. After taking the time to analyze the taiko in all of its sounds and possibilities, they discard everything they know and start all over again in search of something new. In “Eternity,” the O-daiko (big drum), which used to be a requisite symbol of Kodo that typically marked the climax, never even appears on stage. But I do not find this the least bit strange. In its stead, various taiko conjure a wealth of other expressions, some of which do not sound like taiko at all. That is what makes a strong, tenacious taiko performance stand out and lets the performers move us. At the same time, I feel the amazing power of Kodo’s accumulated history, methodologies, experiences, and environment spanning over thirty years. One of the group’s challenges is also to find new meaning in these things.



“We have been trying all manner of things since Tamasaburo (Bando) became our artistic director, no matter what people said,” explains Masayuki Sakamoto. “I hope that people come to consider what we do as a whole as a ‘Kodo performance,’ not to label it as new or old. I hope that we can find our voice equally in traditional pieces as well as fields such as contemporary dance.”

▶ read more

Kodo Rehearsal Report: “Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 3–

“Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 3–

Original Japanese Article by Koichi Imai (Freelance Writer) ● Photos by Takashi Okamoto

 Read Part 1 & Part 2

“What is Wadaiko?”: This Simple Question Opens Doors to New Possibilities


The second half of “Eternity” also started with the orin gong. This perhaps acts as a charm to transport the audience into another world. An ensemble of chappa (small cymbals) and bells are played at the opening. Four performers slip out of the ensemble to begin dancing in an arrangement that feels at once ancient and contemporary. They invite the audience to enter another dimension along with the mysterious melody of the chappa and gamelan (Indonesian percussive instruments).

Transported to another dimension, you encounter Takibi (composed by Yosuke Oda). It is a very unique piece, which will shatter your established ideas about taiko. Five performers trace the rims of the taiko with their drumsticks as they draw circles, tapping them as they go around. It is in using every element of the taiko like this that they are able to create sounds and rhythms beyond traditional taiko. At risk of being misunderstood, I would almost say I feel like I am at a “Stomp” performance, in which the players use brooms and metal drums as musical instruments. I can’t believe that I am listening to the taiko. It is well known that Stomp was heavily influenced by Kodo, and it is in this moment I understand that Kodo represents one of the top percussion performances in the world and the taiko has tremendous possibilities.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

“When I thought of ‘eternity,’ I felt the need to travel backward in time,” explains Yosuke Oda. “Eternity spans not only into the future, but also the past. So I tried to imagine taiko before its present playing style was established and decided not to use common taiko rhythms. Some people today may say that what we are playing is not ‘taiko,’ but no one knows how the instrument was actually played in ancient times. The idea of ‘common’ taiko playing was made after a basic taiko style had been constructed.”

Oda arrived at this idea through his experiences in “Legend” and “Mystery,” once he had grasped what the Artistic Director, Tamasaburo Bando, was hoping to achieve. Tamasaburo’s ideas could be similar to those that he applies in Kabuki, not only as a traditional performance, but also as a modern form of expression. When Oda, who is a core figure in the Kodo ensemble, comes up with such a liberated idea, it is bound to have great influence on other members.

  ▶ read more

Kodo Rehearsal Report: “Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 2–

“Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 2–

Original Japanese Article by Koichi Imai (Freelance Writer) ● Photos by Takashi Okamoto

 Read Part 1

Orders from the Artistic Director Help Us Rediscover the Allure of Taiko

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

This particular run-through rehearsal was held in the middle of September 2014. The atmosphere was slowly changing from the summer air of Kodo’s outdoor festival “Earth Celebration,” held between August 21 and 23, into an autumnal mood. But despite the cool winds blowing outside, the rehearsal hall at Kodo Village was warmed by the energetic rehearsals for “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity.” As the Kodo performers had been scattered all over the world on separate tours in the months prior, rehearsals in which all members were present were extremely rare and the level of concentration was intense. “Let’s use all new pieces for this programme,” said Artistic Director Tamasaburo Bando, and that’s how everything for “Eternity” started in January 2014. Until then, Kodo had mostly assembled or arranged their tried-and-tested pieces to form a programme, but “Eternity” was not created in this way: Instead, it began from scratch.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

The Kodo members were invited to share their visions of “Eternity,” and discuss these as a group. “We shared ideas and talked together a couple of times,” explains performer Yuichiro Funabashi. “Some of the ideas were in the form of music, others members had ideas about how the taiko should be played or the positioning of the instruments; it could have been anything. Then Tamasaburo took these ideas and began to build the programme. He arranged some ideas into new pieces, used parts from others, and thus the programme developed.” Afterward, the “seeds” the Artistic Director planted had to be nurtured by the Kodo members, and the overall vision for the programme became clear at the beginning of September.

▶ read more

Kodo Rehearsal Report: “Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 1–

“Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 1–

Original Japanese Article by Koichi Imai (Freelance Writer) ● Photos by Takashi Okamoto


When I first visited Sado Island, I was impressed by the powerful sun setting beyond the horizon. This autumn, a new Sado Kisen Car Ferry had just been christened the Akane, which means “powerful red,” an image that perfectly captured the essence of that sunset. The name also calls to mind the toki (Japanese crested ibis), a protected species of bird raised with deep care and affection on the Island. I remember thinking that the sunset on Sado captured all of the island’s brilliant natural splendor at once; somehow it was much more dramatic on that day than any other.

While I was watching the rehearsal of Kodo’s new programme “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity,” this same feeling came to mind. The rehearsal had a nostalgic feel, like an autumn festival from days past. The warm sounds of the drum and the warmth of the sun setting behind the stage seemed to capture the essence of Sado completely.

By any measure, “Eternity” is a profound and epic title.

Artistic Director Tamasaburo Bando explains this choice as follows:

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
“When I was contemplating the theme of eternity, it occurred to me that ‘the workings of nature’ unfold in cyclical patterns, and that perhaps in identifying those patterns, we could express ‘eternity.’ Strictly speaking, there is probably no such thing as ‘eternity,’ for us mortals, but there are some things that are eternal. The dawn, light, rain, wind, clouds, waves, stars, dusk, the night sky; and amongst all these, I saw ‘human beings.’”


The Rehearsal Hall: A Forum for Trial and Error Filled with Heart, Sounds, and Smiles

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

The workings of nature have enormous power that cannot be fathomed nor controlled by human intellect. A mysterious life force resides in even the tiniest buds. Perhaps eternity can be found in the different sounds of the taiko used to express the workings of life itself.

The opening piece, Yogiri (composed by Tsuyoshi Maeda), introduces the drama about to unfold as it spreads out into the darkness like a giant projection screen. The high-pitched tone of the orin (Buddhist altar bell) echoes like a cool wind blowing across the Island. Shinobue (bamboo flute) melodies call to mind the musical accompaniments of the autumn festival mentioned above, as various percussion instruments beat the base rhythm. This combination conjures an air of nostalgia for a time gone by, when repeated patterns somehow wove the fabric of our daily lives. At the same time, the sounds of waves and wind intertwine. The lasting effect of this piece is an appreciation of the richness of the nature– the ocean, mountains, et al– on Sado Island.

▶ read more

Our Appearance on Radio Nippon “Mine Ryuta no Minesta”

Radio Nippon “Mine Ryuta no Minesta”

Today Yuichiro Funabashi and Masayuki Sakamoto made a live appearance on Radio Nippon’s weekday morning program “Mine Ryuta no Minesta” during the “Talk with Mr. Mine” corner. Thank you very much to everyone who tuned in! We hope you’ll come to hear them perform live at a theater sometime soon, too!


With radio personalities Ryuta Mine (far right) and Ai Handa (far left)


Live performance of SHAKE


Ms. Handa used a ruler to measure Yuichiro’s muscles…?!


▼For more about today’s appearance, have a look at the radio program’s blog (in Japanese).

“Mine Ryuta no Minesta” Program Blog

Photos courtesy of Radio Nippon


June 2015 “DADAN” in Asakusa, Tokyo


June–July, Sep.–Oct. 2015 “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” Japan Tour

[May 24] TV Broadcast: BS Fuji “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity)

[May 24] BS Fuji Broadcast of “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity)

Tune in on May 24 for a 30-min. program introducing “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity,” which will tour around Japan from June. It is a new version of the 2014 program with the same title, featuring new interviews and stage footage.


If you’re in Japan, we hope you’ll tune in!


Broadcast Date & Time: May 24 (Sun) 12:00—12:30

Broadcast Channel: BS Fuji

Program Website: BS Fuji “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” http://www.bsfuji.tv/top/pub/kodou.html


About “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity”


Monthly Archives