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“Kodo in November” by Tomohiro Mitome

Nov. 1. 2015

From Fall into Winter: Kodo in November

Hello everyone. I hope that you are all well. This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.

November has just begun, yet it’s already remarkably cold here on Sado Island.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

On October 18, we gave our final performance of “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity,” which premiered in November 2014 and toured throughout the past year. This was the third production directed by Tamasaburo Bando since he became our artistic director in 2012. “Eternity” has such a profound title and theme and was created entirely from brand new compositions. For Kodo, this work was full of new challenges in musical and stage expression, which led us to new depths and heights on stage.

Photo: Courtesy of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal

Photo: Courtesy of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal

Meanwhile, in Canada another cast of Kodo members took part in the contemporary ballet production “Kaguyahime” in October. Every performance received such a wonderful, excited response from its audience. Kodo throughly enjoyed taking part in this collaboration again and week by week, our performers deepened their connection with the dancers, Gagaku musicians, and percussionists. We are truly grateful for this experience.


Our Kaguyahime cast members also found time between the ballet performances to present Kodo’s first ever School Workshop Performances abroad. It was a very good experience for both sides: many children in Montreal had the chance to experience the sound and vibrations of taiko for the first time and our members got to try speaking French for the first time to deliver their self introductions to the audience.

Speaking of performances abroad, we also held “DADAN 2015” performances at the end of October in Hong Kong, and in November a small Kodo ensemble will head to Bali, Indonesia, for collaborations with EC 2015 guest artist Suar Agung. It’s the first time in 29 years for Kodo to visit both Hong Kong and Bali, so in both cases it’s the first time for all the cast members to visit these places with Kodo. I’m sure the performers will be inspired by these new places & experiences. We look forward to sharing stories and news from our travels with you through this blog, so please stay tuned for updates.


Kodo at “Shion Kansha Nihon Taiko Festival 2014”

Also, this November I’ll return to Ise in Mie Prefecture with Kodo for a taiko festival at the Ise Grand Shrine called “13th Shinon Kansha Nihon Taiko Matsuri.” Kodo performed at this event last year, too. This exciting two-day event draws amazing performance groups from all over Japan and such an enthusiastic crowd.


From the 2014 Kodo Apprentice Centre Harvest Festival 2014

Futhermore, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Kodo Apprentice Centre’s relocation to its current premises: the former Iwakubi Junior High School premises in Kakinoura on Sado Island. Every year in early November the apprentices plan and hold their own “Harvest Festival” and this year they are having a “Great Harvest Festival,” which will be a huge celebration. Kodo Apprentice Centre alumni and Kodo members will come along to perform and enjoy a freshly harvested feast together. This festival is our way of saying thanks to the locals in the Kakinoura and Iwakubi area for their constant kindness. Since all Kodo members and many Kodo staff members pass through the Apprentice Centre, the festival is always a great reunion for Kodo and the locals near the Centre. I am truly looking forward to the Great Harvest Festival that celebrates this milestone year.


Photo: Takashi Okamoto


Last but not least, on Nov. 23 “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos,” the latest production directed by our artistic director Tamasaburo Bando, will premiere on Sado Island.
Sounds of the West, the East, and Japan will create a world of chaos and harmony as they entwine and disperse. This new work is based upon bolder, more liberated ideas than ever before for a Kodo performance.

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

With the unveiling of this new production and the start of a new tour, November marks another exciting beginning for the Kodo.

“Abundant Autumn” by Tomohiro Mitome

Oct. 1. 2015

Hello everyone. I hope that you are all well.

This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.

October has arrived and we are enjoying sunny days with a slight chill in the air. Some decades ago, there was snowy rain in October, but I think that due to global warming in recent years, the fall season on Sado has gotten somewhat longer.


Kodo held numerous performances throughout Japan this September with the “Eternity” and “Interactive Performances” touring from Hokkaido down to Shikoku, our “Special Performances” here on Sado Island, and an array of solo and small ensemble projects, too. Each of our two tours included special projects, collaborations, and workshops, so their days have been filled with all kinds of activities.


I took part in the “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” centered around our Distinguished Members. This was the fourth year for this series. For the Autumn concerts, we had a cast of eight featuring veterans, junior members, and Maya Minowa for the first time. We gave seven performances over four days during Silver Week. The venue, Shukunegi Public Hall, was built 57 years ago and renovations have commenced this fall to strengthen it against earthquakes and restore it. We look forward to seeing the finished renewal next spring.


Photo: Damian Siqueiros
Dancers: Jerimy Rivera & Edi Blloshmi

The Interactive Performance team finished their Japan tour at the end of September and have returned to Sado to rehearse for their upcoming ballet collaboration in Montreal, “Kaguyahime.” Kodo also took part in this ballet with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal in Canada three years ago.

“Kaguyahime” is a ballet suite by the late Maki Ishii, who also composed Kodo’s signature pieces Monochrome and Dyu-ha. He wrote Kaguyahime for a ballet danced to Western percussion, Japanese court music, and wadaiko. For most of the performance, Kodo performs in the orchestra pit, but there are also some scenes where we perform on stage. The production includes a furious battle scene where the Western percussion and Japanese taiko go head to head.



Here on Sado Island, October is an action-packed month for the Kodo apprentices. On top of their usual training, they will give Interactive Performances at junior high schools on Sado, host live-in workshop Kodo Juku at the Apprentice Centre, and have the valuable experience of harvesting the persimmons, rice, and other crops they have been growing over the past months.

At the end of September, we held information sessions for prospective apprentices in Tokyo and Osaka. Some people know they want to join Kodo on stage, but they are anxious when faced with a two-year apprenticeship and wonder how they will find it training here. Of course, it’s easier to imagine if they visit the Centre before applying, but since it’s difficult for some people to come up to have a look around, we have started holding info sessions in these two main citiess in the last couple of years. Today, our applications opened for the 2016 intake. We look forward to greeting our new applicants as they step forward for this challenge of a lifetime.

In Japan, we say that autumn is the season for performing arts.

We hope to see you all soon at a Kodo performance somewhere.


“Soaring into September after an Inspiring August” by Tomohiro Mitome

Sep. 1, 2015

Hello everyone. I hope that you are all well.

This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.

August was action-packed for all of us at Kodo with countless rehearsals, Earth Celebration (EC), and our local festival Ogi Minato Matsuri. This particular intensity tires us in different ways than we experience while we are on tour. But just by being on Sado, we are constantly being soothed by nature, so while it is hectic, it is also an important time for us to reset and refresh ourselves before our fall tours.


Photo: Takashi Okamoto

In early August, we had rehearsals for our upcoming production, “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos,” that will premiere in November. We are receiving advice from drummer Tetsuya Kajiwara as we create this work with our artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

From mid-August, we moved into our rehearsals for Earth Celebration, where we have three Shiroyama Concert performances over three days. We welcomed Leonard Eto (Leo) to Kodo Village to rehearse for the Day 2 performance, “Honeymoon,” and the Day 3 finale, “Shukusai / Celebration.”  Leo also helped us prepare for our collaboration with Balinese guest artist Suar Agung, worked with the Kodo members to create new music, and even taught the younger Kodo members about all kinds of things on their days off. The Kodo members learned a lot and were so motivated by Leo every day. Leo was a Kodo member in the early days of Earth Celebration and he composed the iconic Kodo pieces Zoku and Irodori, so it was a precious chance for all our members to hear his thoughts on EC, the background behind those pieces, and to talk to him about the groove, stage set up, and ways of arranging those pieces on stage. It was an intense, fruitful time for all involved.

Incidently, it is undeniable that Leo is the person who made playing katsugi okedo-daiko so popular. He is also the reason that playing hirado-daiko became so popular.

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

On the first day of EC, which was rainy, we gave an all-Kodo performance directed by Tsuyoshi Maeda, entitled “Kodo Night.” It is rare for thirty-three of us to appear on stage together and something that is only possible once a year here on Sado Island.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

On the second night, we performed a concert called “Honeymoon,” directed by Leonard Eto. The first half featured Jegog ensemble Suar Agung and the second half was performed by Leonard Eto with Kodo. Suar Agung play bamboo instruments, cymbals, and drums, and the sounds they create really suit the natural outdoor setting of Shiroyama Park.

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

For me, the second half was a programme that brought back great memories of Leo’s artistic direction. How we set the scene on stage, the solos, ensemble pieces, and taiko, taiko, and more taiko. The programme really grabbed the audience and drew them in, as did Leo in his red Kodo coat!

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

The final concert, “Shukusai / Celebration,” was directed by Mitsuru Ishizuka. All three artists came together for an energetic, electric finale.

It had been a few years since we last welcomed a guest artist from overseas to the Shiroyama stage, so it was the first time for many of our youngers members to experience an international collaboration. It was such a great chance for us all to experience these collaborations together, to get caught up in a whirlpool of sound, and stimulated in new ways. Thank you very much to everyone who joined us at EC for these concerts!

This year marked the end of an era for Earth Celebration, which will no longer be centred around concerts at Shiroyama Park. However, EC will continue and next year’s festival will take place from Aug. 26 through 28, 2016. Details about the new look EC will be announced in May 2016. In 2017, Earth Celebration will celebrate its 30th anniversary, so we are already looking forward to celebrating that milestone with everyone.

Photo: Yuki Nakagawa

At the end of August, on the 29th, we took part in our local festival, Ogi Minato Matsuri. As a festival taiko group, we pulled a taiko cart around the streets of Ogi, going from door to door playing taiko to show our appreciation to the town and all its people. It’s a special occasion where we get to take part in a local festival and various performing arts as locals.

From September, the “Eternity” tour and the “School Workshop/Interactive Performance” tour are back on the road and touring throughout Japan. Here on Sado, we are preparing for the Special Performances in Shukunegi centered around our distinguished members, which will be held Sep. 19–22.

See you all somewhere soon!


“Kodo’s Festive Summer Season” by Tomohiro Mitome

Aug. 1, 2015

Hello everyone. I hope that you are all well.

This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.



Since the end of the rainy season, it has been such a boiling hot summer. The news in Japan is full of reports of extremely hot days, heatstroke, and severe downpours in the Kyushu area, so I am concerned about our supporters in these areas. Although the temperature sometimes goes beyond 30°C here on Sado, it is much more comfortable here in the morning and evening than in urban areas thanks to the cooling sea around us. On many days we can get by just with an electric fan. During this relentless heat wave, on certain days I go and teach at the Kodo Apprentice Centre and they do not have any air conditioning there. We always try to stay well-hydrated and have a break at times to prevent heat exhaustion. I know it was not this hot in the past, so nowadays I pay more attention than ever before to minding our physical condition.

So, now August has begun. For Kodo, that means it is summer festival time in our neighborhood on Sado Island: namely Earth Celebration and Ogi Minato Matsuri.


During Earth Celebration, there are so many different unique events that you can only experience for these three days each year. Some events are at sea, some are in the mountains, and of course the main concerts at night are in Shiroyama Park. During the daytime, there are fringe events, a variety of workshops, and the streets of rural Ogi are unusually lively!


This year marks a turning point for Earth Celebration, which has centered around the Shiroyama Concerts to date. The festival will take a new direction from next year, so please come over to Sado Island to enjoy this style with us one last time.

My dear fellow Sado Islanders, please join us in Ogi for Earth Celebration. It’s a truly unique atmosphere where time lapses in a relaxing yet exciting way.

If you cannot make it to Earth Celebration, but you would like to enjoy some festivities this summer on Sado, I can also recommend our local festival, Ogi Minato Matsuri!


On August 29, the Kodo performers and staff members take part in the festival as a group who plays “Ogi Matsuri Daiko.” We parade through the streets of Ogi Town, playing taiko door-to-door to help liven up the festival atmosphere. In the evening, there is a fireworks display that includes two enormous fireworks, bigger than you’ll see in a city display. It is well worth the trip to see the fireworks and experience the vibrations that echo through your body when the biggest ones go off.

After Ogi Minato Matsuri concludes, autumn always arrives on Sado.

In the Silver Week holiday period in September, the “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2015: Autumn” will take place at Shukunegi Community Hall. This series of concerts offers a great opportunity to attend a Kodo performance on Sado, where we are based. The concerts are held at Shukunegi Community Hall, a special venue that Kodo has been connected to since the beginning of our group’s history. I believe these concerts are a way we can help revitalize our local community, alongside the locals of Shukunegi.



One of the best things about our performances at Shukunegi Community Hall is the intimate venue, which allows you to feel our performance at a much closer range than you would in one of our usual concert halls.


We look forward to welcoming you all to the Ogi area for the upcoming summer festivals and our Special Performances in autumn.


“Earth Celebration: New Beginnings on the Horizon” by Tomohiro Mitome

July 1, 2015

Earth Celebration: New Beginnings on the Horizon

Hello everyone. I hope that you are well.

This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo. The rainy season began around June 19 in Niigata Prefecture, but it did not rain in Sado until the end of June. Farmers seem to be quite worried about the lack of rain for their crops.

As announced on June 10, there are new changes on the horzion for our annual festival Earth Celebration, which began in 1988. Next year, the festival will change shape and will not be centered around the usual Shiroyama Concerts.

Photo: Buntaro Tanaka

The idea of Earth Celebration originates from the Kodo Village Vision introduced by the first leader of Kodo, the late Toshio Kawauchi (a.k.a. Hancho). He depicted the idea of inviting artists to Sado Island whom Kodo had met while traveling around the world and sending out new ideas and music from Sado together. Ever since EC began, we have used the experience and knowledge we gained by attending festivals including Toga Festival (Toyama, Japan), Sado Music Festival (Sado, Japan) and Edinburgh Festival (UK), to help Earth Celebration to evolve into its current form, incorporating new elements every year.

Earth Celebration usually takes place annually in August, but in the past it was once held in May, and once it was even held in a tent theater for about one month. Earth Celebration has continued as an outdoor event in different forms for the past 28 years.

Photo: Masakazu Sakomizu

Earth Celebration 1988 (Photo: Masakazu Sakomizu)

If I look back on my own Earth Celebration (EC) experiences, well, I came over to Sado for the first time for the first EC in 1988. I attended the Kodo Village Opening Concert, Shiroyama Concerts, and a taiko class held during the daytime where I was able to learn taiko directly from Kodo’s stage performers. When I stop and remember that experience, I can now see it was an event that became a turning point for me, which led me to becoming a member of Kodo.


Earth Celebration 1989

In 1989, I took part in EC as a Kodo apprentice. A typhoon hit Sado on the last day, and the concert venue was the Ogi Town Gymnasium, but it got converted into an evacuation center due to the storm… I recall that it was so grueling…


Earth Celebration 1990

I performed as a Kodo junior member at EC 1990. It rained so heavily on the first day that we had to change the concert venue to the Ogi Town Gymnasium. From early in the morning, we were rushing around carrying all of the musical instruments, lighting and sound equipment, and so on, to the Gym. We had no time to rest and hectically rushed about in the mud to prepare and then launched straight into our performance. It is so true that power comes from necessity.

From the first EC in 1988 until 2012, the Kodo performers labored together with the staff members to set up the stage and dismantle it after the festival. We built the festival facilities from scratch, performed for three days, said thanks and goodbye to our guests as they boarded the ferry and left the island by playing farewell taiko, and then packed up all the event venues. The three-day clean up following the festival was something we considered as a part of EC. It was physically demanding, but I thought it was all worth it to hold this event together with people of Sado, volunteers and part-time staff members. We all worked very hard and had a great, exhausting time together, presenting OUR festival as a team.


On stage with Fanfare Ciocarlia from Romania at EC 2004

Every year EC changes for the better with new innovations, ideas, and encounters, based on our experience from the previous year and also from years before. We have introduced new collaborations and guest artists, new workshops, various EC Theatre and Fringe Performances, guerilla live performances at Kisaki Shrine early in the morning, and so on. We always try to improve EC each time, so everyone can enjoy it more and more each year.

Looking ahead to the 30th anniversary of EC in two years, we have decided that now is the time to review the form of our festival, and think about how we can make EC better for Sado Island, Kodo, and everyone who comes along, so we can all continue to enjoy EC together.

Photo: Maiko MiyagawaPhoto: Satoko Maeda

EC is one of very few events where you have the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor Kodo performance on Sado Island, where we are based, but we have decided that the time has come to take a step back and rethink the format of EC. So we will start by not centering the festival around the big concerts at Shiroyama Park next year.

This year for our Shiroyama Concerts, we are pleased to welcome a legendary former Kodo member and well-respected performer, Leonard Eto, back to Sado and EC as a guest artist and director. Also, we welcome back Suar Agung from Indonesia. Our past collaborations with them at EC have influenced Kodo pieces in many ways. We are sure the Ogi area will have a multinational, exotic atmosphere for three days during EC. We are now preparing for the events, concerts, workshops, and an array of optional activities to explore Sado Island.


This year, may I suggest you make your trip to Sado via the new Hokuriku Shinkansen? It is a new bullet train service that just started running in March.

The new fast car ferry “Akane” also started operating this April between Ogi and Naoetsu. Please note that all seats on the Akane ferry are allocated chairs and reservations are required, unlike the car ferries to Ogi until last year. So, if all the seats are full, you cannot board. We recommend you book your seats on the ferry as soon as possible.


We look forward to welcoming many of you to Earth Celebration 2015, from abroad, around Japan, and of course, from around Sado Island.


“Kodo in June” by Tomohiro Mitome

June 1, 2015

Hello, everyone! I hope that you are well.

This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.

June has begun. The sun’s rays are getting stronger and the forests on Sado are such a vivid green. I feel the power of Mother Nature through this intensity.

Photo: Taro NishitaPhoto: Taro Nishita

Until a few years ago, I spent spring traveling around Japan with the “Kodo One Earth Tour” performances, from the beginning of May until the end of June. When I would come back to Sado in June, I was always taken aback by the changes in nature between my departure and my return. As we passed through the dense gauntlet of trees to reach Kodo Village, I’d feel at home before we had even arrived.


Photo: Takashi Okamoto, Courtesy of Shochiku-za Theatre


Thanks to all of your support, May concluded on a high note after our successful “Amaterasu” performances at Shochiku-za Theatre in Osaka. Thank you very much to all of you who attended the performances. The previous encore performances were held two years ago, so this time even more young, new members joined the cast. I think “Amaterasu” provided them with such valuable experiences: they rose to the challenge of tackling new parts and instruments, and they were able to perform on stage with Kabuki luminary Tamasaburo Bando.


Around the same time, we held the fourth annual “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island” near Kodo Village in the historic Shukunegi area. The cast was centered around Kodo’s distinguished members and also featured our new junior members, so there was a large age gap between the cast members (more than a generation!). These performances were a great opportunity for our junior members to learn from our senior members.

As usual, from June Kodo has planned a variety of performances in Japan including “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” performances and “School Workshop Performances.”

打男 DADAN 2015


From June 10 to 15, our “DADAN 2015” performances will take place at Asakusa Public Hall in Tokyo. This year is the third year for Kodo to have a series of performances at Asakusa Public Hall in June. Thanks to warm local support, Kodo’s performances in Asakusa have gradually started to take root.

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“A Season of New Buds” by Tomohiro Mitome

May 1, 2015Photo: Taro Nishita
Hello, everyone! I hope that you are well.

This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo. May is here and it is a very comfortable, refreshing season. Flowers are bursting into full bloom and I feel so energized by spring.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

As usual, April for Kodo was a time for us to hold rehearsals for the next new “Kodo One Earth Tour” production, which will premiere on Sado this November. We also rehearsed for “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” and the School Workshop Performances, which resume their tours in Japan in June, as well as the “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” and other projects. Much like the cycle of the nature, this is a season at Kodo when new buds emerge and grow.

This May, we will hold encore performances of “Amaterasu” at Shochiku-za Theatre in Osaka. “Amaterasu” premiered in 2006, and we also held popular encore seasons in 2007 and 2013.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

This production is a rare opportunity for Kodo to collaborate on stage with our artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando. This year, we welcome back guest artist Harei Aine and look forward to sharing a new version of this performance with our audiences. In this production, we convey the story of a famous Japanese myth using the myriad sounds of Japanese musical instruments, ranging from raging gods, using the powerful roar of the taiko, to one scene where “eight million gods” gather for a party.


Photo: Takashi Okamoto

The party reaches its climax with a dance by a goddess called Ameno-uzume (performed by Harei Aine), which leads to the appearance of the dazzling sun goddess, Amaterasu, who emerges from the heavenly rock cave. That moment creates such a powerful wave of energy that even as performers on the same stage, we cannot help feeling moved by it as we play our taiko. It is a truly precious moment. I hope you won’t miss the opportunity to see this performance live!

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“O-daiko Triple Cast Schedule for ‘Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2015: Spring'” by Kodai Mazaki

O-daiko Triple Cast Schedule

Photo: Satoko Maeda
We are pleased to announce the schedule of one of the highlights of the upcoming “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2015: Spring”: the triple cast for O-daiko (the big drum). Each performer’s style is so unique! We hope you will come along!

Apr. 25 @14:45 Tomohiro Mitome
Apr. 26 @11:00 Eiichi Saito
May 2 @14:45 Yoshikazu Fujimoto
May 3 @11:00 Eiichi Saito, @14:45 Tomohiro Mitome
May 4 @11:00  Yoshikazu Fujimoto, @14:45 Eiichi Saito
May 5 @11:00 Tomohiro Mitome, @14:45 Yoshikazu Fujimoto

*Please note that this cast & schedule are subject to change without notice.


Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2015: Spring

“A New Season Begins” by Tomohiro Mitome

Apr. 1, 2015

Hello, everyone! I hope you are well.
This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.

Now that it’s April on Sado Island, spring has arrived and buds are appearing on the branches of the cherry trees.

In Japan, both the new work year and school year start in April.
At Kodo, it’s the time of year when we welcome new apprentices. The Year 34 class are about to arrive at the Kodo Apprentice Centre to start their lives as apprentices. I am sure they will all head to Sado with high expectations, some apprehension, and huge dreams.

Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Hekireki from “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” (Brooklyn, New York, USA) ©Julieta Cervantes

Our first tour this year, the “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour, concluded successfully thanks to all of your support. I would like to express our gratitude to all the staff members involved, the presenters, and everyone who attended our performances.

The Kodo members that remained in Japan spent March giving a variety of small-ensemble and solo performances in so many places. On March 15, we even had 4 different performances in 4 different places at the same time: Iizaka in Fukushima, Kurashiki in Okayama, as well as Seiro and Joetsu in Niigata. The performers and staff were hurtling around Japan at a great pace.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Also, we had Kodo Special Performance 2015 “Michi” at Kanagawa Arts Theatre (KAAT) in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, on March 19 & 20. Although these two performances were held on weekdays, we were greeted by full houses on both dates. I believe that the programme was nostalgic for long-time Kodo fans and supporters, yet would have felt brand new to audiences who started to attend Kodo performances in recent years.


By presenting an orthodox “Classic Kodo” programme with new members, I am confident that we were able to produce a whole new work, not just an “encore” performance. During our rehearsals, all the performers had the chance to see what makes us “Kodo,” or what Kodo holds dear, in a new light: how to perform, how to change sets (instruments and stands) between pieces, how to walk on stage, and so on. While recognizing all of this anew, the senior members were able to hand these core elements down to the younger, next-generation members. The newer members did their best to absorb the valuable knowledge and experience shared by the senior members, which they had accumulated over the years.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

While maintaining our core, the foundations Kodo has forged over the past 34 years, it is vital for the current Kodo ensemble to gain new strength so we can survive in a new era. The new forms of expression we are exploring now are very important because they will help Kodo to evolve and continue its activities for many years to come. I think the fruits of this special performance, “Michi,” will also become apparent in the future. I hope that we can continue to provide opportunities for you to experience the core and roots of Kodo in various forms of expression.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

In April, all the Kodo members return to Sado Island and gather for rehearsals. We will work hard together as we create brand new productions and prepare for “Amaterasu” and our upcoming tours. We look forward to sharing them with you on stage soon.



“Appearance at Opening Event for Joetsu Myoko Station” by Tomohiro Mitome

Appearance at Opening Event
for Joetsu Myoko Station on New Hokuriku Shinkansen Line

We were invited to perform at two opening events for Joetsu Myoko Station on New Hokuriku Shinkansen Line: a private celebration in Takada City on Mar. 14 and a public performance at Joetsu Myoko Station’s Kamakura Dome on Mar. 15.

Photo: Tomohiro Mitome

At the private celebration in Takada City on Mar. 14

At this brand new station, we were joined on stage by three brand new Kodo junior members! They must have felt the pressure of being assigned some of the main parts to perform, but I am sure that it was a memorable debut for them to perform for so many people.

Photo: Ryoko Iwamoto

At Joetsu Myoko Station Kamakura Dome on Mar. 15

In April, a new high-speed ferry called “Akane” will run between Naoetsu Port and Ogi Port on Sado. Access to southern Sado Island will become much easier and faster using the new bullet train line and fast car ferry. We hope you will come to see us for the “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island” this spring, and “Earth Celebration” this summer.


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