“In Matsuyama with ‘Spirited Summer'” by Chie Yamawaki

July 22, 2017

Hello, everyone! This is my first blog post. I’m Chie Yamawaki, a Kodo junior member.

I am currently on tour with “Spirited Summer” and we only have four performances to go.

After our performance in Kurashiki today, we traveled to Matsuyama in Shikoku.

Speaking of Shikoku, I am from Kagawa Prefecture.

So when I visit nearby Kurashiki and Matsuyama, it feels similar to being back in my hometown.

The climate and dialect in Western Japan make me feel so relaxed, as did the Sanuki udon noodles I ate during a road-side stop.

This is my first big tour.
My heart felt like it might burst with nerves and worries during the first half of the tour, but all the senior Kodo members supported me through it.
I received a tremendous amount of energy from the smiles and applause the audience gave us at each performance. My heart gets fully recharged with every performance, so I have arrived in Matsuyama filled with energy and with eleven performances worth of wonderful memories.

As this tour progresses, I think each performance feels like a “spirited summer” of its own.
The people, sounds, food, history, atmosphere, water, and other elements of each place we visit blend with Kodo and create a unique, spirited summer experience each time.

Tomorrow we have our Matsuyama performance.
Some years ago I was one of the audience members watching Kodo perform on stage at tomorrow’s venue, Matsuyama Shimin Kaikan.
Now I am a junior member of Kodo and this time I will be on stage performing with Kodo.
Since I was very young, I often visited Matsuyama for fun. I am really looking forward to our spirited summer experience in Matsuyama. I wonder what local flavor will blend into our performance…

For the remainder of the tour, we will head further south to the bottom of Kyushu.
The temperature will rise and so will our spirit on stage!
I look forward to sharing more special summer experiences with you all and taiko. Please come along to see one of our performances.

山脇千栄

Kodo “Spirited Summer” Japan Tour

Photos: Takashi Okamoto


“New Kodo Goods Now on Sale” by Kodo Online Store

We launched some new Kodo goods this month!

Kodo T-shirt (Blue logo)
This new Kodo tee features a cool blue print for summer!
Order here: http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/index_en_jpy_1.html

Kodo Towel
Check out this new scarf-style towel! It’s a must-have for hot summer days and sports or taiko practice.
Order here: http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_104.html

Kodo Die-Cut Stand-Up Memo Cards
These stand-up memo cards feature cut-out illustrations of signature Kodo performance pieces.
Order here: http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/goods_en_jpy_105.html

These new items will be snapped up quickly, so order yours today to avoid missing out. The towel and memo cards are brand new products, so they’ll make the perfect surprise gift for your favorite Kodo fan or a nice treat for yourself.

All the products in this blog post and more are available at July 2017 “Spirited Summer” performances (cash sales), Sado Island Taiko Centre, and Kodo Online Store in English and Japanese.

Kodo Online Store in English

http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/


“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

 


“We’ve Got Something in Common!” by Yosuke Kusa

The “Yugen” tour began in Tokyo on May 16 and we gave performances in Tokyo, Niigata and Nagoya on the first leg of this tour.
For this production, the performers and Kodo staff were supported by a numerous people from a wide range of professions.

Amongst all these people from different backgrounds, I found something that six of us have in common.

Front row (from left): Tsunahito Hanayagi, Yuichiro Funabashi
Back row (from left): Erika Ueda, Takefumi Noguchi, Yosuke Kusa, Yusuke Ishikawa

The six of us pictured above all graduated from the same university! Hanayagi-ryu dancer Tsunahito Hanayagi, stage set staff Takefumi Noguchi & Yusuke Ishikawa of Tatsuta Stage Co., Ltd., Kodo performers Yuichiro Funabashi and I, and Kodo publicist Erika Ueda.
There are approximately 780 universities in Japan, so it was quite a coincidence for us all to come together to work on the same production and find that we had all studied at Kyoto University of Art and Design. As the days went by on our tour, we discovered this connection and we were so happy about that. I am still buzzing about it so I thought I would share it on the Kodo Blog.

▲At Shunjuza in Sep. 2016, warming up before our performance.

By the way, Kodo will perform “Spirited Summer” at the theater at Kyoto University of Art and Design, Shunjuza, on July 2.

Also, the Yugen tour will resume on Sep. 2 in Fukuoka and then travel to Kyoto for performances from Sep. 21 through 23.

▲ In the Yugen performances, Yosuke Kusa performs the snake dance.

The path that led me to my current job began in Kyoto, so I know that performing these programmes in Kyoto will have special meaning for me. Please come along to see “Spirited Summer” and “Yugen” in Kyoto!



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