Makoto Shimazaki
Chairperson, Kodo Cultural Foundation

January 2017


The Kodo Group celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2016. This year, we will intensify our efforts as we look towards the future, with 2017 marking the important first year of our "Next 35."

People around the world are saying that 2017 will be an uncertain, unpredictable year. Over the past thirty-five years, the Kodo Group has faced many difficulties along the way that were resolved and overcome with hard work and wisdom. This shaped our group into what it is today. As we face the year ahead, we will not be arrogant or overconfident, nor will we be anxious about the unknown. The Kodo Cultural Foundation is an integral part of the Kodo Group and we will focus on seeking the "light" of new possibilities throughout this unpredictable year.

Our annual festival, "Earth Celebration," has many years of experience under its belt, too. Under the motto "Invigorate Sado," this year the Ogi-based event will expand its reach to connect everyone who attends with locals and their unique activities all over Sado Island.

Our Foundation also facilitates the training of future taiko performers at Kodo Apprentice Centre in Kakinoura and future leaders in regional revitalization at Fukaura Schoolhouse. This year, we aim to make their training more sound and profound than ever before.

We also plan to resume the "Sea of Japan University Project" (Nihonkai Daigaku Kozo). The original goal of this initiative was to create a place where people can learn about issues in society and devise solutions for them, a concept upon which Kodo's antecedent group Ondekoza was founded in the 1970s. Back then, I participated in the first "Sado Summer School" (Sado Natsu no Gakko) to assist folklorist Mr. Tsuneichi Miyamoto, and this event marked the beginning of that project. This year, I plan to take the first of many steps towards realizing Mr. Miyamoto's vision at last.

On behalf of the Kodo Cultural Foundation, I sincerely ask for your continued support and advice throughout the year ahead to facilitate our activities.

Makoto Shimazaki
Kodo Cultural Foundation