“Our Berlin Performance on Feb. 26” by Maya Minowa

Photo: Maya Minowa

Berlin, Germany.
The very place where Kodo made its debut 37 years ago.

Photo: Maya Minowa

Photo: Maya Minowa
That’s why Berlin is a very special place for Kodo.
On our 2018 tour, we were invited to give a performance at Berliner Philharmonie.

Photo: Maya Minowa

This hall boasts some of the world’s best acoustics. Even the sound of Japanese drums (wadaiko) resonates well here, very clearly and true to life. Good sound reached us no matter where we sat in the hall.

Photo: Maya Minowa

37 years ago, when the members of Sado no Kuni Ondekoza shifted directions and became Kodo, I wonder how they felt when they played taiko when they debuted here in Berlin.
That time of change must have been a more distressing time for those members than I could ever imagine.

From those new beginnings, Kodo’s performances have continued to evolve for decades.

I want the spirit when we face the drums, our spirit of resonance with the drums, to never change. I want to continue sharing that sound with people all over the world.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2018: Evolution” Europe Tour

“Back in Magnificent Rome After Nine Years” by Eri Uchida

Mar. 10, 2018
Photo: Eri Uchida

As soon as I exited the train station, the sheer sight of this enormous structure made me tremble.
This is the Colosseum, which is estimated to hold some 70,000 spectators.

Photo: Eri Uchida
I wonder how on earth people made something like this by hand 2000 years ago, in a time without electricity or machinery. Visiting this structure, I couldn’t help but be amazed by human intelligence, strength, desire, and persistence.
Every detail was so elaborate and dynamic, from the entrance trapdoors that added interest to the spectacle, to the corridors devised throughout that let the spectators smoothly enter and exit.

Photo: Eri UchidaFights were held here, where people or animals battled to the death. I heard that people in those days were really enthusiastic about the fights, which made me wonder about people today. Are we fundamentally different from people back then? It’s a bit scary to think about that.

For me, it was my first visit to Rome since 2009 when I was on my first tour with Kodo, a summer European festival tour. Although I spent a week in Rome then, due to my terrible hay fever and all my first tour nerves, I only ventured out once for sightseeing to visit the Vatican City. Nevertheless, I have profound memories of that visit to Rome such as our rehearsals with A Filetta for EC 2010 and the performances of “Mono-Prism” with Santa Cecilia Symphony Orchestra.

Photo: Eri Uchida
I remembered that back in 2009 I thought this hall looked unbelievably gigantic. I recall feeling proud as I watched the Kodo members selected to play Mono-Prism, but at the same time I felt frightened about appearing on that stage myself.

Photo: Eri Uchida

This time, I sat in the empty audience seats while we were setting up and looked at the stage. It seemed much smaller than last time and that felt strange.

However, when our performance began, the full house was filled with energy and it absorbed our sound, so the furtherest seats felt very far away during the performance.

Photo: Eri UchidaIn this huge arena, every member of our cast did their very best. We received a standing ovation at the end of the performance, a sign that the audience was pleased by our efforts.
We had all spent our day off before the performance sightseeing all over Rome, and it was as if the inspiration of what we had seen turned into powerful energy on stage. I’m already looking forward to the day I can return to Rome and its colossal structures.
Next, we are off to Milan for two performances back to back!


“Kodo One Earth Tour 2018: Evolution” Europe Tour


“Seven Years on from the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake & Tsunami” by Yuichiro Funabashi

Today marks seven years since the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake & Tsunami.

I would like to offer my sincere sympathy once more to all the people who were affected by this disaster.

While this day will remind them of many things, I pray that they will also find peace.

It’s a quiet Sunday at the Kodo Village rehearsal hall.

I will take a moment of silence at 2:46pm to remember Tohoku.

Photo: Yuichiro Funabashi

Heartbeat Project

“Kodo is Off to Egypt for the First Time!” by Kodai Yoshida

Feb. 2, 2018

Just when I thought the extreme cold wave had ended, I heard that much of Sado Island was now without water. It’s been chaotic here for many days. Amidst trying circumstances, we have been rehearsing at Kodo Village for our upcoming Egypt performances. It will be Kodo’s first time to perform there and when we arrive in Egypt, that will mark the 50th country Kodo where has performed to date.
Photo: Erika UedaDirector Tomohiro Mitome is leading the cast of nine for these performances. You wouldn’t think it was just nine people by the number of pieces and rich content. Tomohiro said to us, “It’s a tough program, but let’s enjoy ourselves.” And with that, our rehearsals began.

Photo: Erika Ueda

The cast features a lot of young performers, so while the rehearsals were very lively, they also made us reaffirm that we have our work cut out for us each time we appear on stage.

Photo: Erika Ueda

We had a tight rehearsal schedule with only one week to practice. The stage manager, Kazuki Imagai, who is a former Kodo performer, told us that, “Even if there is no time, you still have to do everything properly.” The senior Kodo members gave us strict, clear instructions and our rehearsals steadily progressed.

Photo: Erika Ueda

I have been practicing hard as I imagine the unknown land where I am heading. It’ll be everyone’s first time visiting Egypt. I wonder what awaits us over there…

Photo: Erika Ueda

Feb. 9 (Fri) & 11 (Sun), 2018 Kodo Select Ensemble Appearance in “Japanese Drums Concert” (Egypt)

“We’ve Arrived in Brighton!” by Eri Uchida

We have arrived in Brighton, UK, where we will give the first performance of “Kodo One Earth Tour 2018: Evolution”on our European tour.

Photo: Eri Uchida
Brighton is a port town in the south-east of the UK. It looks out to sea just like Sado Island, but unlike the fierce winter on Sado, this town has a calm shoreline thanks to the warm currents of the Atlantic Ocean.

Photo: Eri Uchida

The shops in Brighton aren’t large chain stores. The streets are filled with unique restaurants, variety stores, clothing shops, and antique dealers. I even saw a bonsai shop!

Photo: Eri UchidaThe shops have colorful pictures painted on their walls and the whole town has an artistic vibe. It was exciting just strolling around Brighton.

Photo: Eri UchidaAt night, the town is lit by warm street lamps, which are spaced out along the streets. The brick buildings make the town look so picturesque.

I saw a picture framer’s that had a sign reading:
“Let’s make this town full of artists.”
Perhaps it’s each person’s mindset that makes this town feel exciting to me.

Photo: Eri Uchida

I’ll looking forward to an exciting two-month tour!

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2018: Evolution” Europe Tour


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