Makoto Shimazaki
Chairperson, Kodo Cultural Foundation

January 2016


As 2016 begins, Kodo approaches a milestone: our 35th anniversary. As we commemorate the occasion, I am certain that this year will be the first of another 35 innovative years.

With help from the island’s residents, we will undertake an array of activities in 2016, with the motto "Revitalize Sado" as our source of inspiration. Using the knowledge and experience Kodo has gained over the years, our goal is to introduce new initiatives and new energy to the island.

People from all over Sado Island will help us to broaden the scope of our annual festival, Earth Celebration (EC). From 2016, EC will shift from concentrating most activities in the Ogi region to encompassing the entire island. This way, all of Sado’s beauty and attractions can be shared with people from around the world.

Soon after Kodo was founded, the group put a training program in place to develop potential new members. For two decades, the current Kodo Apprentice Centre in Kakinoura has prepared future performers, and this year the Kodo Cultural Foundation aims to take a fresh look at the structure of the Kodo Group as a whole, including taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo and its management company, Kitamaesen.

Our newest facility, Fukaura Schoolhouse, enters its third year of operation in 2016. With the support of many — most importantly the locals in nearby Fukaura and Shukunegi — we plan to broaden the scope of its community development training initiatives. This is also the third year of the Mirai no Gakko (Future School) project, a unique collaboration with Cornell University in the USA that draws on their vast experience and wisdom. We will continue building this project, and look forward to expanding its activities in the year ahead.

Furthermore, as part of our ongoing effort to give back to Sado Island and its people, we will continue developing the "EXADON" programme, which combines taiko drumming with healthcare to help prevent the onset of dementia in local senior citizens.

This year, the Kodo Group will work as one, stepping purposefully into our 36th year. We will do our very best, and keep the hopes and wishes of our supporters firmly in mind. I sincerely ask you all for your continued support.

Makoto Shimazaki
Kodo Cultural Foundation