“Some Lessons our School Visits Have Taught Me” by Eri Uchida
Dec. 28, 2014
As I visit place to place on tour with the “School Workshop Performances,” I feel the importance of greetings firsthand. At one of the schools we visited recently, each student came up to us to greet us politely one by one.
In everything we do, communication is vital, which begins with a simple greeting that can convey so much.
At the schools we visit, teachers tell their students, “Look at the person speaking as you listen to them. Look into their eyes and listen carefully what they say.”
I think that children who can greet people well also have the ability to concentrate and know when to act in a certain way or when it’s ok to relax, according to different situations.
That goes for us, too.
I used to think that Japanese manners were very strict and a pain in the neck, but someone told me that “Manners are the best way to show how you feel.” Since then, Japanese manners became very natural to me and I started writing letters, too.
Children imitate the behavior of adults, even if they do not understand the meaning of that behavior at first. Later, they will learn the meaning behind it. I think adults should understand the real meaning behind our behavior and help children to understand that individually. As I think about this, I realize that we shouldn’t just explain things to children orally, but that they also need to experience what we mean firsthand for themselves.
Children grow up very quickly everyday and I hope that we can also grow as adults alongside them.
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
“School Workshop Performance in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo” by Kenta Nakagome
Dec. 17, 2014 School Workshop Performance at Yushima Elementary School, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
On this particular day, I was worried about about how the big-city children would react to our performance.
They were more energetic and docile than I had expected, which triggered something within me to play taiko freely and have fun with them.
I have recently started to sense from our audiences’ response that if we drum wholeheartedly and have fun ourselves, then the sound will resonate with people better than any tricky, technical arrangements.
School Workshop Performance Photo Gallery
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
School Workshop Performances http://www.kodo.or.jp/koryu/index_en.html
“Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Eternity Tour Finale” by Yuichiro Funabashi
Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Eternity
We had the tour finale of “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Eternity” in Niigata on Dec. 25, 2014.
Thank you very much to everyone who came to see our performances on this debut tour. This production was full of challenges for Kodo as an ensemble and all the performers individually due to the limitless theme of “Eternity” under the direction of Tamsaburo Bando; the work was entirely created using brand new compositions with great attention to detail in the way we produce each sound.
This was the debut tour of this programme, but thanks to the warm applause and feedback from our audiences, we were able to improve our performance day by day. We are truly grateful to everyone for their encouragement.
Kodo has a really varied lineup planned for 2015 and we look forward to seeing you all at a theater somewhere in Japan or abroad. The “Eternity” tour will continue in Japan from June and we aim to bring you an even further evolved sound. We will strive to exceed your expectations. See you soon!
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
“‘Taiko Experience’ Workshop for Kodo Members” by Shinichi Sogo (a.k.a. Shinchan-sensei)
On Jan. 11, I led a “Taiko Experience” workshop for a small group of Kodo members. I was a little nervous about how it was going to go…
Once it started, there was non-stop laughter!
It was so much fun that the 90 minutes just flew by!
Sado Island Taiko Centre (Tatakokan) http://www.sadotaiken.jp/ (Japanese)
Sado Island Taiko Centre Official Facebook Page (Japanese)
“Making Mochi at Kodo Village” by Yutaka Teramoto
We just had our annual new-year Mochi-tsuki Taikai (event where we make mochi: pounded rice cake) at Kodo Village.
All the Kodo members and staff gathered to pound the steamed rice into mochi outside the Kodo Village dining room.
The mochi-making team leader this year was performer Tetsumi Hanaoka (pictured right).
We all enjoyed the freshly made mochi for lunch. It was delicious!
Happy New Year from Kodo
Happy New Year from All of Us!
May 2015 be a happy and fruitful year for all of you.
Photo taken at Sado Island Taiko Centre on January 13, 2015
“Workshop Performance Tour Finale in Kunitachi” by Eri Uchida
Kodo Workshop Performance in Kunitachi, Tokyo, on Dec. 20, 2014
We, the “Workshop Performance” tour members, were welcomed by a full-house audience for the finale of our 2014 tour in Kunitachi, Tokyo.
It was the first time for 3 of our 7 cast members to take part in a Kodo School Workshop Performance tour. They were a little nervous during the rehearsals in November, but before we knew it they had become relaxed and at ease performing for the children at each school.
Children are very honest during our performances. If it’s interesting, they do not move at all, but if we lose their attention for even a moment, they start to chat. And when our sound is too loud, they block their ears. After a month of these performances, we can now physically sense the children’s reaction as we play taiko each time.
O-daiko was particularly interesting. Kenta Nakagome is very powerful and in general his taiko playing makes a very big sound, but now when he plays the big drum in front of children, you can hear gentleness in his sound.
We heard the culmination of that change in sound during our tour finale. When the first beat from the big drum echoed out, it made us feel a wonderful warmth resonate from within our bodies.
Through these School Workshop Performances, all seven of us performed face-to-face with children, and also taking a head-on look at both taiko and ourselves. During our final performance, I really felt those challenges that we had faced together.
Photos by Takashi Okamoto
“Happy New Year!” from Tomohiro Mitome
Jan. 1, 2015
Happy New Year!
I hope 2015 will be a wonderful year for all of you.
In 2014, Kodo was blessed with so many new encounters as we performed all over Japan and internationally, sharing numerous productions: “Legend,” “Mystery,” “DADAN,” “Eternity,” “School Workshop Performances,” “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island,” and more!
In 2015, we will continue to aim for new heights of stage expression under the guidance of our artistic director Tamasaburo Bando. From our veterans through to our young new members, we will work diligently as an ensemble to create performances with our audience’s enjoyment in mind.
I kindly ask for your continued guidance and encouragement this year.
Kodo Ensemble Leader
Masayuki Sakamoto to Appear on TV Program “Toshi Wasure Nippon no Uta” this New Year’s Eve!
New Year’s Eve TV Appearance
Masayuki Sakamoto will appear on TV program “Toshi Wasure Nippon no Uta” this New Year’s Eve.
If you’re in Japan, we hope you’ll tune in!
Dec. 31 (Wed), 2014 17:00–21:30
“Toshi Wasure Nippon no Uta” on TV Tokyo