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“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.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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.”

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
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.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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

Photo: Takashi Okamoto On this particular day, I was worried about about how the big-city children would react to our performance.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

They were more energetic and docile than I had expected, which triggered something within me to play taiko freely and have fun with them.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto



School Workshop Performance Photo Gallery

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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

Photo: Yutaka Teramoto

We just had our annual new-year Mochi-tsuki Taikai (event where we make mochi: pounded rice cake) at Kodo Village.

Photo: Koki Miura

All the Kodo members and staff gathered to pound the steamed rice into mochi outside the Kodo Village dining room.

Photo: Koki Miura

The mochi-making team leader this year was performer Tetsumi Hanaoka (pictured right).

Photo: Tetsumi Hanaoka

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

Farewell Messages from Kenzo Abe & Yosuke Inoue

Dec. 29, 2014

Kenzo Abe

I decided to leave the Kodo ensemble at the end of 2014. I entered the Kodo Apprentice Centre 14 years ago in April 2000. Thank you very much to everyone at Kodo, everyone connected to our performances, and all the Kodo fans. I am truly grateful to you all.

I decided I wanted to join Kodo when I was first saw the ensemble and was overwhelmed by the honed physical beauty of the performers and the sharpness created by their purely functional movements. I felt a strong yearning to join them on stage. Kodo’s mission statement, fostered since the days of Kodo’s antecedent group “Sado no Kuni Ondekoza,” sets the group’s sights on reaching the limits of human energy. Its many members have created Kodo’s performances to date by putting that vision into practice.



For me, personally, I remain doubtful as to whether I tested myself to those limits. As a result, I was not able to devote my whole life to Kodo. That is something that I will carry with me, etched in my mind. I still wonder how to create an energy that will overwhelm people’s senses, what it is exactly, and even if that is in fact what I want to do…

Right now, I have no regrets about the path I chose, but it is time for me to stand on my own two feet and set off down a new path independently.

I can’t help this being a somewhat gloomy farewell, but I have a family now and my situation and age are not the same as when I first came to Sado Island. I can’t only talk about myself and my ideals. I have to live and make a living. Inevitably, this will test my own limits.

My experiences with Kodo are truly precious and I think they will continue to be huge assets to me in the future. I offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who gave me this opportunity. Thank you all.



Yosuke Inoue


I decided to leave Kodo for personal reasons.

Since 2012, I have spent three years taking part in Kodo performances including “Kodo One Earth Tour: Legend,” “Mystery,” “Amaterasu,” and the “School Workshop Performances.” I got to meet so many people and had so many precious experiences, for which I am truly grateful.

Now I plan to head down a new path, which will make the most of my experiences with Kodo. I will study about the human body and massage and train to become a physiotherapist.

I offer my sincere gratitude to everyone who has cheered me on during my brief time with Kodo. Thank you all.

“Workshop Performance Tour Finale in Kunitachi” by Eri Uchida

Kodo Workshop Performance in Kunitachi, Tokyo, on Dec. 20, 2014

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We, the “Workshop Performance” tour members, were welcomed by a full-house audience for the finale of our 2014 tour in Kunitachi, Tokyo.

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

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.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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.

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

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.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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.


Tomohiro Mitome

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

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
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



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