“The School Workshop-Performance Tour, Working Hard in Niigata” by Eri Uchida

On Friday June 16, I went to see the School Workshop-Performance tour in Niigata City where they are currently visiting elementary schools. Kodo gives regular performances at the many schools there.

I went to see our tour at an elementary school that is 10km from Niigata Station. I decided to rent a bicycle to go there. I don’t know what I was thinking… it was further than I thought. I should have known it would be tough on a bike with a basket and no gears. On the way back, I took the easy route by getting a lift back in the Kodo truck. (lol)

 

Ask any young person who went to school in Niigata City if they have seen Kodo and most of them will say that they have, at least once. That is largely thanks to Kodo’s Eiichi Saito and Kazuki Imagai and their efforts since our School Workshop-Performances began some twenty years ago. To visit all the schools in the city requires a morning and afternoon performance each day, at different schools each day. That means fitting ten performances into five days each week. With such a tight schedule, it’s important that everyone is as organized as possible to ensure smooth, good performances. To make sure that not even a minute is wasted, the preparation for the tour includes detailed meetings about loading in and out of each venue and then the cast and crew carry out simulations of how each day and situation will go.

On Friday afternoon, the end of the school week! The kids were so lively!

The School Workshop-Performance requires a lot of stamina, so the physical power of young Kodo members is essential for this tour. Currently there are three junior members on the tour and every day they are giving it their all. They have been on the road for one month now and since I last saw them at a run-through rehearsal on Sado, the young members have all grown in leaps and bounds. Every day as I learn I am reminded that the more you grow, the more you realize exactly what you still lack. The junior members still receive a lot of critiques from the senior members, and I’m sure they are being stretched to their limits. But now that I am a bit more senior myself, I can see that they are growing more than they may think. The senior members know if they praise the junior members too much they won’t improve, so they make sure they don’t give them too much praise. (LOL)
During my visit, I saw my fellow Kodo members all working diligently to better themselves and the performance. Regardless of seniority, they all worry, suffer, work hard, and enjoy themselves. I think they are all really valuable to Kodo.
Keep up that spirit, School Workshop-Performance team! Do your best!

The children flocked to the cast members after the performance for autographs. I hope they will come to see Kodo perform when they grow up, too. We’ll be waiting for you!


“We’re in Yamagata Prefecture!” by Kengo Watanabe

June 16, 2017

Hello, everyone! This is Kengo Watanabe. It has been a while since my last Kodo Blog post.

Yesterday we arrived in Sakata City in Yamagata Prefecture. I visited Sankyo Soko, a rice storehouse that was built in 1893. It is still used today.

I also saw these great Japanese zelkova (keyaki) trees all in a row.


Today we have our final performance of Kodo Premium Concert “An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo.” I look forward to seeing everyone at the theater!

Kodo Premium Concert “An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo”


“Meet & Greet Visit to Asakusa” by Ryoma Tsurumi

Summer is on its way and I can feel the change of season in the air already.

The other day I went to Asakusa in Tokyo with Tsuyoshi. It was a holiday so Kaminari-mon Street was bustling with many tourists. When we glanced up, we saw that Asakusa had put “Kodo Spirited Summer” flags up all over the place!

 

Tsuyoshi and I visited many shops in Asakusa to say hello to the local supporters of our annual Asakusa concerts. Unfortunately, we found that many of the people we wanted to say hello to were not at work on this particular day, so we had to leave messages for them instead. We were pleased to see Mr. Hokari, the owner of Kaminari Okoshi Honpo!

This year marks the fifth year that Kodo has held back-to-back concerts in Asakusa. Every year the people of Asakusa help and support us in so many ways. Thanks to them, Asakusa is a very special place for all of us.

Our “Spirited Summer” tour begins on July 2 in Kyoto and will visit eleven cities throughout Japan. We will give performances in Asakusa from July 6 through 9. There are still tickets available, so please come along!

After the humid rainy season, everyone needs a boost. We hope you will join us in July for our invigorating “Spirited Summe” performances! See you soon!

Kodo “Spirited Summer” Japan Tour

 


“School Workshop Performance Rehearsals” by Narumi Matsuda

May 19, 2017
Photo: Narumi Mastuda

It’s starting to look very summery here on Sado Island!

Photo: Narumi Mastuda
This week at Kodo Village we are holding run-through rehearsals for the upcoming School Workshop Performance tour, which is about to begin. The other day, we asked Kodo’s apprentices to fill in as the school pupils for our rehearsal. This programme is designed for performances in school gymnasiums. As well as our taiko performance, it also features introductions to the various instruments we play and a hands-on taiko experience corner.

Photo: Narumi Mastuda

This tour will spend a month and a half giving performances at schools in Fukushima, Yamagata, Tokyo, Osaka, and Niigata. As the performers rehearse and fine tune the programme, they all wonder how the kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, and high school students will react to their performance.
If we are coming to your school soon, we look forward to seeing you there!

School Workshop Performances
http://www.kodo.or.jp/en/performance_schoool_en


“Song & Taiko Ninin-Angya in Uchiko” by Mitsunaga Matsuura

Ninin-Angya,” an upbeat duo featuring Kodo Distinguished Members Yoshikazu Fujimoto & Yoko Fujimoto, will visit Uchiko in Ehime Prefecture for a performance on June 27.

Join the Fujimotos for a fun encounter filled with taiko, songs, and stories from their unique journeys through life. They will present some of the many songs they have encountered to date on Sado Island, on their travels, and with Kodo. You’re in for a special treat at this particular performance because Yoshikazu is bringing his own odaiko along to play. He named his big drum “Taiyo,” which means “sun.” Below is a video message from Yoshikazu and Yoko about their performance in Uchiko. They look forward to seeing everyone there!

June 27 (Tue), 2017 Yoshikazu Fujimoto & Yoko Fujimoto in “Song & Taiko Ninin-Angya” (Uchiko, Ehime) *Further details in Japanese

2017年6月27日(火)藤本吉利・藤本容子「唄と太鼓の二人行脚」(愛媛県喜多郡内子町)



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