Takao Aoki
President, Kitamaesen Co., Ltd.

January 2016


This year the Kodo Group celebrates its 35th anniversary, a milestone reached thanks to your continual support.

During the days of Kodo's former group, Sado no Kuni Ondekoza, the work of composer Maki Ishii broadened the creative potential of wadaiko (Japanese drums), and shook the foundation of classical music. Ishii’s signature taiko compositions include "Monochrome," "Mono-Prism" for taiko and orchestra, and "Dyu-Ha," which was created specifically for Kodo. From day one, Kodo has been dedicated to trailblazing new and innovative paths. However, like with any organization, a status quo can settle in, and when one becomes lulled by the status quo, things can become stagnant and you face decline. Just when I sensed such a crisis looming for Kodo, we met Kabuki luminary Tamasaburo Bando.

Since then, Kodo has had the good fortune to study and explore new and profound forms of expression with Mr. Bando. With his guidance over the past sixteen years, we have rediscovered the importance of stirring the souls of our audiences, and of performing with diligence and presence, free from the chains of any specific repertoire, instrument, or costume.

To commemorate our 35th anniversary, we will revisit the group's origins with a clear, fresh perspective in order to embark on even further creative journeys. Our goal is to achieve harmony with each other, while still allowing members to embody their own independence, personality and conviction. Furthermore, I want us to explore uncharted territory, and to break new ground. I want each of us to discover our purpose in life, to resonate spiritually with others, and to captivate audiences with engaging work and creative acumen. With time, my aim is to reach a point where our work finds its way deep into the hearts of people throughout the world.

I kindly ask you all to watch over our group this year. Thank you in advance for your support.

Takao Aoki
Kitamaesen Co., Ltd.