Farewell Message from Tsuyoshi Maeda

Performer Tsuyoshi Maeda will leave Kodo at the end of September 2017 to pursue a new path. We sincerely thank you all for supporting his activities with Kodo to date.


Farewell Message from Tsuyoshi Maeda

I, Tsuyoshi Maeda, have decided to part ways with the Kodo Ensemble at the end of September.

I truly regret making this sudden announcement to the many people who have supported me to date, when I only have a few performances with Kodo remaining.

When I think back, I started dreaming of joining Kodo when I was an elementary school student, and no matter what happened throughout my youth, all I thought about was taiko.

Back then, when I got home from school I would play Kodo CDs and practice playing taiko and metal percussion instruments in time with their music. I recall listening to Kodo albums as if they were lullabies, listening to them right until the moment I fell asleep each night. Looking back, I almost want to poke fun at myself. How did I manage to get to sleep listening to such upbeat music? Well, clearly that’s how much I wanted to join Kodo, and why I was so focused and driven to make my dream of donning a Kodo costume one day come true. After years of wearing the costume I yearned to earn for all those years, last month I wore that same indigo coat with the white triangular motif at Earth Celebration for the last time.

All of a sudden, thirteen years have passed since I first moved to Sado to become a Kodo apprentice. It has been such an incredibly intense, rich experience throughout, so while it may seem like a long time with Kodo, it went by in a flash.

During my time with Kodo I have always been surrounded by great performers: the senior performers, the close comrades who joined soon before or after me, and the new members who joined us each year. Naturally, our day-to-day life together hasn’t all been fun, but I can say this: all the days I spent with my colleagues, gritting my teeth and working hard alongside them, are something I truly treasure. The time I spent with them is an invaluable asset that I will always carry with me.

I will never forget the sight of Kodo’s senior members in various situations during my time at Kodo Apprentice Centre, at Kodo Village, in the rehearsal hall, and from the wings when they were on stage. Likewise, the sight of my comrades on stage is permanently etched in my mind.

Each day that passes never comes around again, but sometimes we only notice what that fleeting day held once it has passed. We might feel sad that certain days came to an end, yet at the same time we can enjoy the times when we recall certain days and realize just how wonderful those days were to experience.

I still love Kodo, that hasn’t changed. In fact, the moment that I decided that I was going to leave the group, I really noticed just how much I still like Kodo. I came to Sado Island when I was 18 years old, and this year I turned 31. In March, I got married.

Now the time has come for me to grow more as a human being, to develop more and more. So when I leave Kodo, I want to leap into a brand new world.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has supported me to date.

Thank you.

And to everyone in the Kodo Group, thank you very, very much for everything over the past thirteen years.

Tsuyoshi Maeda

September 2017