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Tag ‘Sado Island Taiko Centre’

“Request for Donations to Help Repair Spuddy” by Yasuko Homma

Spuddy Needs Your Help

Today, I’d like to let you know about a special member of the Kodo family who needs your help.

Yamaimo-kun, nicknamed Spuddy in English due to his resemblance to a certain root vegetable, is one of the large taiko that lives at Sado Island Taiko Centre. He is one of two massive taiko at the Centre that were handmade by Kodo members. Yamaimo-kun and his friend Butabana-chan, a.k.a Miss Piggy, have been working hard at our centre since 2007 when it opened and they were completed. They welcome everyone who wants to have a hit and have become the mascots of our interactive facility.

After taking a beating almost every day for a decade, poor Spuddy now has holes in both of his heads. Shinchan-sensei has patched him up with small pieces of hide, but the bandages are only a temporary fix.


Since the beginning of the year, we have had a donation box at the Centre so that visitors can help us buy new heads for Spuddy. In eleven months, we have raised around 70,000 yen for his “treatment.”
Spuddy is a big boy and his heads are about 1.4m in diameter, so it will cost around 100,000 yen to fix him. We have decided to schedule this procedure during January when there are less visitors due to the cold winter season.

Now that winter is upon us, we have decided to try to raise the remaining funds required by asking for donations online.
If you would like to help us mend Spuddy, please contact the Kodo Cultural Foundation for further details. http://www.kodo.or.jp/foundation/index_en.html

Thank you in advance for your kindness!

“Mar. 2015 Sado Island Taiko Centre Special Project: Taiko Lessons” by Masami Miyazaki

Apr. 3, 2015


Here are some photos from our Sado Island Taiko Centre Special Project “Taiko Lessons” last month. Thank you very much to everyone who came along. You really made our Centre lively for the entire month!


Each of the three courses, “Play Taiko to Diet!,” “Taiko for Better Health!,” and “Casual Taiko Lesson,” had a class once a week. The Diet Course was a bit tough: the participants had to drum non-stop and drum with large strokes while yelling from their abdomens.


There were little cuties running all over the hall during the Casual Lessons, and for the Better Health Course, we made sure that everyone stretched and twisted their bodies in all sorts of ways to make sure they all got a full-body workout.


We gave a voucher for a free Taiko Experience to anyone who came to every session in one course. There were 4 people in the Diet Course and 1 in the Casual Lesson Course. Well done, all of you! And thanks again to everyone who participated in our taiko lessons! We are already planning some further lessons this fall.

If you are keen to join us this fall, please let us know if there is a certain kind of course you’d like to take part in or a certain time of day that suits you to come along. We welcome your suggestions!



Sado Island Taiko Centre now has English information on its website! Please have a look. We hope to see you soon!

Happy New Year from Kodo

Happy New Year from All of Us!

May 2015 be a happy and fruitful year for all of you.


Photo taken at Sado Island Taiko Centre on January 13, 2015

“’Tatakokan Matsuri’ – Oh What Fun!” by Masami Miyazaki

Sado Island Taiko Centre Festival “Tatakokan Matsuri” – Oh What Fun!

We held a festival called “Tatakokan Matsuri” at the Sado Island Taiko Centre on Dec. 14. We’d had blizzards leading up to that weekend, so we were wondering if we could finish clearing the snow away from the parking lots and if people could reach our Centre safely…. but in spite of all our worries, so many people came along on the day!

Photo: Hirofumi Uenoyama

The festival ended on a lively, high note with Ogi Matsuri Daiko performed by Sado Taiko Club (mainly Kodo Cultural Foundation staff members), taiko group Anedaru, and many of the festival attendees.

150 people gathered for the festival, including the stall holders and performers. They made the Centre so lively and warm.

Photo: Hirofumi UenoyamaPhoto: Hirofumi Uenoyama

[Workshop 1] Advent Calendar Workshop: Children and parents worked together happily making calendars. They were all looking forward to opening each box every day until Christmas!

[Workshop 2] Sagegami (New Year’s Decoration) Workshop: An instructor from Shukunegi area shows participants how to make Sagegami. Let’s see how well can they cut the paper out from the pattern…


Thank you very much to all of the performers, stall owners, staff, Kodo apprentices, and especially to all the festival-goers, who braved the snow to join us! Tatakokan Matsuri really brings people together, and we look forward to hosting another one someday soon!

Photo: Hirofumi Uenoyama

Presentation by the Kodo Cultural Foundation Community Development Course trainees: They have lived on Sado since April 2014. They gave a presentation on what they have learned from the locals on Sado Island. In this picture, they introduce “Koba-ya,” a workshop where wooden shingles are made in the Shukunegi area.

Photo: Hirofumi Uenoyama

Some Kodo staff members also popped in. You can tell how the curry tasted by looking at their smiles.

Sado Island Taiko Centre (Tatakokan) Website (in Japanese)
Sado Island Taiko Centre (Tatakokan) Official Facebook (in Japanese)

“The Fukaura Schoolhouse” by Johnny Wales

Fukaura Gakusha – The Fukaura Schoolhouse

by Johnny Wales


Welcome to Fukaura Gakusha (Fukaura Schoolhouse)

Not far from Kodo Village and perched high on the same ridge on Sado’s southern-most coast is the Fukaura Schoolhouse. This is where the first generation of Kodo members’ own children went to elementary and middle school, so it holds a special place in our hearts. Sadly, three years ago – as in so many other places in the Japanese countryside – it closed due to lack of young people to fill up its desks. Just a 15-minute walk down the road from the Sado Island Taiko Centre, a 15-minute drive from the port of Ogi, and 20 minutes to Sado’s largest sandy beach, this nostalgic wooden school in a grassy field is setting out on its second life.  It will serve as a base for people coming to breath the air and experience first-hand what has made this magical island such a source of inspiration to us these forty years. Kodo’s dream has long been to not only bring the sights and sounds of Japan to the world but also to bring the world to Sado. We also want to do our part in giving back to the people of  the island. Our busy lives here and on tour have meant that we haven’t been able to open Kodo Village to visitors except on special occasions. For those wanting to experience taiko here on the island the Sado Taiko Centre was built next to Kodo Village in 2007. There are no facilities for staying over though, so people were on their own when looking for a convenient place to stay. They say ‘When one door closes, another opens’, and so it is with the old Fukaura Schoolhouse. With the installation of modern bathrooms and conversion of some of the classrooms into dormitories with either tatami mats or bunk beds, we now have comfortable, if simple accommodations at a reasonable price for groups of up to 40 people, and it’s right down the road. Three meals a day are available featuring delicious home-made, seasonal, locally-sourced cuisine. A vegetarian or special dietary plan can also be arranged.


Inside Fukaura Gakusha (Fukaura Schoolhouse)

So if your group wants to experience the best of rural Japan – and while you are at it, drum your hearts out – here is the place to do it. Whether you are an experienced taiko group, have never even seen a Japanese drum and want to use a workshop as a team-building exercise, or you have a group of both veterans and beginners, one of Kodo’s veteran players can tailor a workshop to meet your needs.

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“The ‘Sado Long Ride'” by Yui Kawamoto

Spring is here on Sado Island, which brought bright green colors into the scenery.The beautiful weather wonderfully complements the grand panoramic view. Wouldn’t it be a great opportunity to exercise in an environment like this?

Photo: Yuko Shingai

The Sado Long Ride was held on May 18th. Participants biked around the island through various scenic views. After cycling up a long strenuous hill, participants would hear….

Photo: Yui KawamotoPhoto: Yui Kawamoto

Don doko, Don doko, Don doko, Don doko!

We had a chance to cheer on some participants who were half way through the course.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Hope to see you back on Sado again! And come visit Sado Island Taiko Centre while you’re here!


“Sado Island Taiko Centre (Tatakokan) in Spring” by Masami Miyazaki

At the Sado Island Taiko Centre (Tatakokan) in spring the sounds of energetic taiko echo out every day. Today members of “Aoba-kai,” a physical rehabilitation group on Sado Island, visited us at the Centre.

I was glad to see them play taiko and have fun, saying with pleasure that “We thought we wouldn’t be able to play taiko with our bent backs, but we were able to play so much!” Seeing that really made an impression on me.

Photo: Masami Miyazaki

So, please come to the Takokokan to play taiko, all of you. Taiko gives you a lot of energy!

“Iwasaki-den Sado Onikenbai Practise” by Narumi Matsuda

On Saturday March 8, I went to practise for Iwasaki-den Sado Onikenbai (demon sword dance).

Photo: Narumi Matsuda

It’s cold in the hall in winter, but everyone works up a sweat under Yoshikazu Fujimoto’s instruction. There were a variety of participants today including the new Kodo junior members, some Kodo staff members, and locals including high school students. One of the great things about learning performing arts is that is brings people together who have very different everyday lives.

Iwasaki-den Sado Onikenbai: This group was formed after Yoshikazu Fujimoto was certified by the leader of Iwasaki Onikenbai, the group who upholds this traditional folk art (demon sword dance) in the Iwasaki area of Kitakami City in Iwate Prefecture.


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