In 2011, we were engulfed by a chain of disasters caused by a massive earthquake, giant tsunami, and subsequent nuclear power plant accidents, events that set off alarm bells for all of mankind. This was all amidst a world recession, a disproportionally strong shift in the Japanese yen, and the grave state of our capitalist economy. In particular, the nuclear power plant accident showed us how man has deviated from any sense of harmony with the laws of nature, and it feels like we stepped into unknown territory. In times like these, I find myself reassessing the very reason for the existence of the taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo, and how Kitamaesen Co., Ltd., which manages the ensemble, ought to behave in this new world.
Right now, in Japan and across the globe, we hope to make the soulful language of the taiko thunder out a message of power and courage to give people hope and allow them once again to dream about the future. It is at times like these that we must believe in the importance of performing arts, and therefore the existence of Kodo, and we must move forward no matter what it takes to navigate the stormy seas ahead.
In the 31st year of the Kodo group's history, we must let a new wind blow among us so we can survive these difficult times. Our organization needs to be reborn with a sense of urgency, without any fear of failure. After three decades, the air in any organization becomes stagnate, and before you know it, complacency can take over. If your organization is content with the common practices and work methods in place since its establishment, it has dulled its five senses and is in danger of being eliminated. Traditions can survive only because they are a series of innovations. While remaining both passionate and calm, it is important to relentlessly forge ahead on uncharted paths.
The Kodo group will strive to develop taiko performing arts to be both deeper and broader through profound studies with our new artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando, whose gifted sense of Japanese aesthetics will guide us. We will show Kodo with renewed vigor to the people of the world, drumming with every ounce of their life force. Kitamaesen's role is to take the helm so that Kodo can head into a future brimming with vitality. It is my dream that, like the trade ships from which Kitamaesen takes its name, our company will also carry and spread culture from one part of Japan to another and ultimately throughout the world. It is our mission to develop taiko performing arts to the level of international renown of quintessential representatives of Japanese performing arts culture such as Noh, Kyogen, and Kabuki.
We hope you'll join us on our never-ending voyage and enjoy the ride as the adventure unfolds.
Kitamaesen Co., Ltd.