The Kodo 30th Anniversary One Earth Tour is now setting off on its second leg in Japan. With the support of enthusiastic audiences across the nation, the tour continues to build momentum as we approach the year-end finale to take place on Sado Island on December 24th.
Fueled by 30 years of experience, Kodo does not plan to rest on its laurels, but instead to continue to break new ground as we look 50 and even 100 years into the future. As we move into a new era for the group, I have decided to entrust the future of our stage expression to a new organizational structure that will come into effect in April 2012.
Takao Aoki, Kodo Managing Director/Kitamaesen Co., Ltd. President
As a key turning point on this new road forward, Kodo has invited Kabuki luminary Tamasaburo Bando to become its artistic director. With this appointment, he will henceforth be intimately involved with all Kodo's stage productions.
Kodo has never before appointed an artistic director from outside the company, so this is a first-time endeavor. Under Bando's direction, we expect our organization and its individuals will be challenged to achieve a higher level of performing arts than ever before.
Kodo's mission has always been to pioneer unprecedented creative paths, and under this new leadership, I am certain that Kodo will go on to break new ground. Learning the mysteries of the performing arts from the artistic director firsthand, Kodo members will surely continue to make meaningful additions to the canon of taiko performing art culture.
As we move ahead, the stage performers will be given more freedom than ever before to take initiative in the creation of their own performances. Along with this freedom comes the responsibility to further explore their creativity and challenge themselves. Towards this end, the taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo will be restructured to include an independent organization of the players, with veteran performer Tomohiro Mitome nominated as its leader.
Mitome has been featured as a central player on the Kodo stage, acting as Kodo's main O-daiko performer, and has been one of the driving forces behind Kodo performances for many years. From this point on, as Kodo's ensemble leader, he will be responsible for the development of Kodo performers, guiding the direction of future generations and strengthening the basis of Kodo's creative activities. I am confident that he will strive to improve the minds and bodies of everyone in the company.
Up to this point, I have served as the Managing Director for our organization. In this role, my responsibilities included overseeing performances, but from now on I will devote myself to my duties as president of Kitamaesen Co., Ltd, which manages Kodo. Of course I will remain in a supportive role of the group's stage activities, but the group's creative direction will be left to the performers themselves and the newly appointed artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando.
In order to make Kitamaesen Co. Ltd. and the Kodo Cultural Foundation (which is currently in the process of becoming confirmed as a non-profit public interest corporation) financially independent organizations, the roles and responsibilities of each organization will be clearly defined from April 2012, This will make the corporate entities that support Kodo stronger (Kitamaesen Co., Ltd., Kodo Cultural Foundation, Otodaiku Co.,Ltd.) with the intention of constructing an ideal management base.
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we hope you'll look forward to a new era of creative expression for Kodo, and I humbly ask you for your continued support.