On October 4, we performed in my hometown of Iwaki, Fukushima. It was my first time to perform in Iwaki as a Kodo member. Thanks to the support of the venue, Iwaki Performing Arts Center Alios, the audience there had gathered from all over Fukushima Prefecture. It was a beautiful day and my heart was filled with happiness.
No matter how much I think about it, all I can think to say is “Thank you” to all of the people who helped us with this performance. Even though people in Fukushima are still having a hard time, they manage to turn their tough experiences into strength and they smile a lot. They reminded me that I get my own strength from them too, everywhere I go, all the time, with each step I take.
I hope this performance will become a link between Iwaki and Kodo. I will continue to do my best, in the hopes of coming back to perform in Iwaki soon.
The Japan Finale of “Mystery” in Shimane
The Japan performances of “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” ended at Oda Shimin Kaikan in Shimane on Oct. 26. It was also the last One Earth Tour performance for cast members Kenzo Abe and Yosuke Inoue.
Our tour ended in Shimane, where the original folk art that serpent dance Jamai is based on is upheld. All the members, especially serpent performer Yosuke Kusa, got so nervous soon after we arrived in Shimane. A serpent was on display in the lobby (see the picture below) and we received warm applause from the members of Yunotsu, who taught us the serpent dance. The performers must have felt really encouraged by their support. The performance was really lively thanks to this great atmosphere, created by everyone there: the audience, the staff backstage and front of house, and the entire cast. Thank you, everyone!
Mariko Omi, Yosuke Kusa and Kosuke Urushikubo visited Hiroshima TV on Oct. 21. They announced the Hiroshima performance of our new “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” production on Dec. 12 and performed live on programme “Terebi Ha.” It will be our first performance in Hiroshima City in two years. We hope you are looking forward to it, we certainly are!
You can watch the footage of our appearance on the Hiroshima TV website. Please take a look!
Dec. 12 (Fri), 2014 Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima City
The latest issue of “SWITCH” magazine (Oct. 20) features interviews with cast members Yuichiro Funabashi and Masayuki Sakamoto about Kodo’s upcoming production, “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity.” (Article in Japanese/On sale in Japan) If you’re in Japan, we hope you’ll take a look.
Switch Official Website
Switch Vol. 32 No.11 Ringo Shina “Musician’s Counterattack”
(Published on October 20, 2014 by Switch Publishing)
Kodo “A New Style of Freedom”
“Two years have passed since Tamasaburo Bando assumed the role of Kodo’s artistic director. We snuck into the Kodo rehearsal hall, amidst an air of supple intensity.”
This year, I have been on an array of adventures thanks to the birth of my CD, “Yamazu Megurumo.” Right now, I am so happy to have made friends with musicians on Sado.
I performed with harpsichord player Seiko Sato in July, then in September I performed with Masahiro Isono (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Akira Kato (bass), Yoshie Homma (chorus) and a mystery support guitarist.
I have experienced so many new things and I worked hard with them. These were such good experiences! They asked me to hold regular concerts, which makes me so happy to hear. I hope we can perform together again.
Now, I am in Wachi with my mother-in-law & father-in-law.
I will continue my adventures on Sado, in Wachi, and on my travels.
I’m grateful that my in-laws are keeping well!
On Stage in “RESONANCE 2014” (Roppongi, Tokyo)
Taking part in this performance was a dream of mine and it finally came true! “Resonance” is an ongoing music & art series directed by former Kodo member Kaoru Watanabe, with artwork and production by TokyoDex. I was really looking forward to joining an array of artists on stage for this unique performance, including a number of former Kodo members who have been truly flourishing as solo artists, and I was also wondering how to show my own true colors as an artist in this challenging “arena.”
The packed venue in Roppongi felt like a whirlpool of passionate energy. The performance was a glorious one-night-only battle of flair, inspiration and improvisation. It was also a chance for me to encounter a new version of myself.
Photos: Maiko Miyagawa
Chieko Kojima Appearance in “RESONANCE 2014”
A new gallery page with photos from Earth Celebration 2014 is now ready for viewing on the official EC website. Have a look at the great memories captured at EC this year!
Earth Celebration 2014 Photo Gallery
We are proud to present the third work directed by artistic director Tamasaburo Bando: an evolutionary performance entitled “Eternity.” This production will premiere on Sado Island in November and tour around the major cities in Japan from late November through December.
▶Watch on YouTube: http://youtu.be/8_BHh_OyRVs
“Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity”
Nov. 20 (Thu) Amusement Sado, Sado Is., Niigata
Nov. 30 (Sun) City Hall Plaza “Aore Nagaoka,” Nagaoka, Niigata
– “Heartbeat Project” Special Version –
Dec. 2 (Tue) Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Dec. 4 (Thu) Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall, Nagoya, Aichi
Dec. 6 (Sat) & 7 (Sun) NHK Osaka Hall, Osaka City
Dec. 10 (Wed) Okayama Civic Hall, Okayama City
Dec. 12 (Fri) Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima City
Dec. 15 (Mon) & 16 (Tue) Hakataza Theater, Fukuoka City
Dec. 19 (Fri) – 23 (Tue/Public Hol.) Bunkyo Civic Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Dec. 25 (Thu) Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, Niigata City
Kodo Workshop Performance in Ono, Kyoto
This venue is very close to where Tsuyoshi Maeda grew up and many of people who have supported him all along came to see this performance.
Tsuyoshi was so relaxed as he played taiko and sang songs to this audience in response to their warmth and hopes. I’m sure he has kept improving since childhood by performing for them, gaining skill with each performance. I felt that I saw his true roots through this performance. We all enjoyed performing in such a warm atmosphere.
This Workshop Performance programme, directed by Tsuyoshi, premiered at the end of 2013. This current tour is the last tour for this particular programme. We have improved as a small ensemble through our performances every day. I know I will enjoy performing this programme right until the very end of our tour!
Interview with Yuichiro Funabashi by Johnny Wales
Yuichiro Funabashi was born on May 9th, 1974 in Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo. He grew up in suburban Ninomiya. His father was a salary man and his mother worked in a hospital. He had one sister, 6 years older. He remembers his childhood fondly, describing himself as a life–of–the–party type playing soccer and baseball outside every day. Spinning tops were all the rage, (to put things in historical context) so there was plenty of that too. This was the very tail-end of the baby boom so there were children everywhere, 1,000 students alone in his elementary school, so there was no lack of friends to play with.
In middle school he joined the volleyball club. This became the centre of his world, 7 days a week, until he entered high school. Though his high school was nearby, it had even more students and he felt adrift among all the strange faces. Apart from dabbling in two wildly-divergent interests, American football and the tea ceremony, and some part-time work on archeological digs, he more or less coasted through 3 very dark years. In spite himself though, he did manage to get good enough marks to consider university. He was accepted into the Kyoto University of Art and Design where he studied archeology and artifact conservation. He enjoyed going on digs and he also became interested in marine archeology. It was while preparing for his scuba diving license that his life came to one of those great crossroads. Taiko entered his life.