June 16, 2015
Full House for the Finale of “DADAN 2015”!
Yesterday we were delighted to welcome a full house for the finale of our six consecutive performances of “DADAN 2015” at Asakusa Public Hall in Tokyo. Thank you very much to everyone who visited Asakusa to see us!
Tomorrow we resume our nationwide tour of “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” in Sagamihara, Kanagawa. We look forward to seeing everyone there!
We hope you’ll join us for “Eternity,” too!
“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour (June–July, Sep.–Oct.)
[June–July] Kanagawa, Saitama, Gunma, Chiba, Osaka, Nagano, Kyoto, Ehime, Hiroshima
[Sep. Oct.] Chiba, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Yamagata, Iwate, Akita, Shizuoka, Aichi, Hyogo, Tottori, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Kagoshima
Kodo’s “DADAN 2015” performances in Asakusa begin on June 10! Join the all-male cast of thirteen powerhouse Kodo performers for a pulsating ninety minutes of non-stop action. We’re waiting for you all at Asakusa Public Hall!
“DADAN 2015” Rehearsals (At Kodo Village in April)
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
Director: Tamasaburo Bando
Performers: Yuichiro Funabashi, Mitsuru Ishizuka, Yosuke Oda, Masayuki Sakamoto, Tsuyoshi Maeda, Jun Jidai, Koki Miura, Shunichiro Kamiya, Ryoma Tsurumi, Kengo Watanabe, Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga, Hayato Otsuka, Reo Kitabayashi
*Cast subject to change
Ticket Sales Update:
June 10 (Wed): SOLD OUT. Door sales will not be available.
June 13 (Sat), 14 (Sun): Advance ticket sales have concluded, doors sales TBC.
Door Sales Info: Door sales will not be available on June 10 (Wed). For all other performances, door sales are TBC. If available, tickets will be on sale at the venue from 30 mins. before doors open (1 hour before the performance starts).
Kodo “Eternity” Blu-ray & DVD Released Today!
Kodo “Eternity,” on Blu-ray & DVD, is on sale from today! We hope you’ll add a copy to your home theater collection. It’s exclusively available from Kodo Online Store and Kodo performance venues.
Recorded: Live at Bunkyo Civic Hall, Tokyo, Japan, on December 21 & 22, 2014.
Price: Blu-ray: 6,000 yen (tax inc.) / DVD: 5,000 yen (tax inc.)
Kodo Discography http://www.kodo.or.jp/discography/index_en.html
Kodo Online Store
May 3–5 Voice Camp in Wachi
For the first time in 19 years, I led a live-in workshop! This 2015 workshop camp was presented by Wachi Taiko, who are based in (my husband/Kodo member) Yoshikazu Fujimoto’s hometown. The workshop took place amidst the beautiful, colorful spring surroundings of violet wisteria and green foliage.
I wanted the participants to enjoy the Wachi area in many ways, so I had asked our facilitator, Mr Fumitaka Ideno, to show me around various spots and together we decided the places we would visit. During the camp, we enjoyed and cherished the echoes of our voices, sang together at those spots, and the participants and I had three days full of excitement and fresh energy.
The workshops took place at the gym of a former elementary school, the lodge at the camp site where we stayed, a temple dedicated to Kannon, which was established in the Muromachi Period (early 14th to late 16th century), and the early-morning mountainside of Mt. Choro.
June 1, 2015
Hello, everyone! I hope that you are well.
This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.
June has begun. The sun’s rays are getting stronger and the forests on Sado are such a vivid green. I feel the power of Mother Nature through this intensity.
Until a few years ago, I spent spring traveling around Japan with the “Kodo One Earth Tour” performances, from the beginning of May until the end of June. When I would come back to Sado in June, I was always taken aback by the changes in nature between my departure and my return. As we passed through the dense gauntlet of trees to reach Kodo Village, I’d feel at home before we had even arrived.
Thanks to all of your support, May concluded on a high note after our successful “Amaterasu” performances at Shochiku-za Theatre in Osaka. Thank you very much to all of you who attended the performances. The previous encore performances were held two years ago, so this time even more young, new members joined the cast. I think “Amaterasu” provided them with such valuable experiences: they rose to the challenge of tackling new parts and instruments, and they were able to perform on stage with Kabuki luminary Tamasaburo Bando.
Around the same time, we held the fourth annual “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island” near Kodo Village in the historic Shukunegi area. The cast was centered around Kodo’s distinguished members and also featured our new junior members, so there was a large age gap between the cast members (more than a generation!). These performances were a great opportunity for our junior members to learn from our senior members.
From June 10 to 15, our “DADAN 2015” performances will take place at Asakusa Public Hall in Tokyo. This year is the third year for Kodo to have a series of performances at Asakusa Public Hall in June. Thanks to warm local support, Kodo’s performances in Asakusa have gradually started to take root.
Beyond Asakusa’s Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate)
From June 1, when you pass through Asakusa’s iconic Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate), a dream-like view for Kodo in the lead up to our “DADAN 2015” performances awaits…
Kodo flags all along the Nakamise Shopping Street!
The street will keep them on display for us until June 15 when our performances conclude. When you come to Asakusa to see “DADAN,” make sure you take a stroll along and have a look.
The shops along Nakamise Shopping Street boast a wide range of tasty treats and beautiful Japanese souvenirs. It takes a while to make your way all the way down to Sensoji Temple if you stop and look at all the wonderful stores, so allow plenty of time!
See you soon in Asakusa!
Details about “DADAN 2015” (June 11–15): http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20150610dadan_en.html
We’re on Our Way!
Yesterday we saw the School Workshop/Interactive Performance tour group off from Kodo Village, and today it’s our turn! The “Eternity & DADAN” team is on its way!
We were sent off from Kodo Village with a taiko farewell and warm wishes.
We’ll travel safely and see you all soon!
We’re looking forward to see everyone at theaters around Japan for “Eternity” and in Tokyo for “DADAN”!
“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour
June 3, 2015
The School Workshop/Interactive Performance Team Sets Off from Kodo Village!
We only just got back to Sado Island after “Amaterasu” in Osaka, but after a few days of rehearsals, we are all heading off on tour again! Next on the agenda for Kodo we have the School Workshop/Interactive Performances, “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” around Japan, and “DADAN 2015” in Asakusa, Tokyo. The School Workshop/Interactive Performance team has set off first.
Safe travels, everyone!
▲Here’s a photo of us waving them off, taken from one of the departing cars.
“Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 4–
Original Japanese Article by Koichi Imai (Freelance Writer) ● Photos by Takashi Okamoto
Accumulated Knowledge and Experience: Harnessing Knowledge Towards New Discoveries, Kodo Style
Kodo members not only harness the power and allure of the taiko, they find something new that transcends the taiko itself, and it is this indescribable experience that they share with the audience. That is a depiction of “eternity.” Once again, they revert to their purest selves as they face the taiko. After taking the time to analyze the taiko in all of its sounds and possibilities, they discard everything they know and start all over again in search of something new. In “Eternity,” the O-daiko (big drum), which used to be a requisite symbol of Kodo that typically marked the climax, never even appears on stage. But I do not find this the least bit strange. In its stead, various taiko conjure a wealth of other expressions, some of which do not sound like taiko at all. That is what makes a strong, tenacious taiko performance stand out and lets the performers move us. At the same time, I feel the amazing power of Kodo’s accumulated history, methodologies, experiences, and environment spanning over thirty years. One of the group’s challenges is also to find new meaning in these things.
“We have been trying all manner of things since Tamasaburo (Bando) became our artistic director, no matter what people said,” explains Masayuki Sakamoto. “I hope that people come to consider what we do as a whole as a ‘Kodo performance,’ not to label it as new or old. I hope that we can find our voice equally in traditional pieces as well as fields such as contemporary dance.”
“Eternity,” the Origin of Kodo and Taiko –Part 3–
Original Japanese Article by Koichi Imai (Freelance Writer) ● Photos by Takashi Okamoto
“What is Wadaiko?”: This Simple Question Opens Doors to New Possibilities
The second half of “Eternity” also started with the orin gong. This perhaps acts as a charm to transport the audience into another world. An ensemble of chappa (small cymbals) and bells are played at the opening. Four performers slip out of the ensemble to begin dancing in an arrangement that feels at once ancient and contemporary. They invite the audience to enter another dimension along with the mysterious melody of the chappa and gamelan (Indonesian percussive instruments).
Transported to another dimension, you encounter Takibi (composed by Yosuke Oda). It is a very unique piece, which will shatter your established ideas about taiko. Five performers trace the rims of the taiko with their drumsticks as they draw circles, tapping them as they go around. It is in using every element of the taiko like this that they are able to create sounds and rhythms beyond traditional taiko. At risk of being misunderstood, I would almost say I feel like I am at a “Stomp” performance, in which the players use brooms and metal drums as musical instruments. I can’t believe that I am listening to the taiko. It is well known that Stomp was heavily influenced by Kodo, and it is in this moment I understand that Kodo represents one of the top percussion performances in the world and the taiko has tremendous possibilities.
“When I thought of ‘eternity,’ I felt the need to travel backward in time,” explains Yosuke Oda. “Eternity spans not only into the future, but also the past. So I tried to imagine taiko before its present playing style was established and decided not to use common taiko rhythms. Some people today may say that what we are playing is not ‘taiko,’ but no one knows how the instrument was actually played in ancient times. The idea of ‘common’ taiko playing was made after a basic taiko style had been constructed.”
Oda arrived at this idea through his experiences in “Legend” and “Mystery,” once he had grasped what the Artistic Director, Tamasaburo Bando, was hoping to achieve. Tamasaburo’s ideas could be similar to those that he applies in Kabuki, not only as a traditional performance, but also as a modern form of expression. When Oda, who is a core figure in the Kodo ensemble, comes up with such a liberated idea, it is bound to have great influence on other members.