On April 15, spring festivals were held all over Sado Island. The community of Kakinoura, where the Kodo Apprentice Centre is located, has taken the Kodo apprentices “under its wings” and teaches them how to dance the local demon dance every year.
If they reach the right standard, some apprentices may be allowed to wear the special costumes and perform as demons in the festival. This is such a special day.
Here are today’s treats: “Sunny Bread” made by Kiyoko Oi, rolled sushi made by Yoshie Honma’s mom and dried persimmons by Tsugumi Yamanaka. What a spread!
Thank you for your patience! Chappa (5 (go)-sun size) (cymbals) are now in stock again. We look forward to your order!
Chappa (5 (go)-sun size)
At Kodo, we used our extensive stage experience to develop these chappa (5 (go)-sun size), both as our own original merchandise and to use on stage. We also sell jangara in 6 (roku)-sun size and 7 (nana)-sun size.
Kodo Online Store http://kodo.shop.multilingualcart.com/
The “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Mystery” Asakusa Performance postcards are ready to be distributed!
These advertising postcards will be placed on shop counters throughout Asakusa soon.
We hope that many people will pick them up, spread the word, and come along!
“Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Mystery” Performances in Asakusa, Tokyo (June 21-25)
“Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Mystery”
An Interview with Eri Uchida by Johnny Wales
Eri Uchida was born in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan and is in her sixth year with Kodo. She specializes in taiko but also sings, plays shinobue (bamboo flute) and dances. Here she discusses with Johnny Wales Kodo’s newest production “Mystery” and working with Tamasaburo Bando.
Our new main stage performance is called “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery.” It is directed by Tamasaburo Bando. The pieces were written by Kodo members and are almost all new. For me, the principal difference between his first One Earth Tour production “Legend” and the new Mystery is that in Mystery the women are featured more than ever before. In traditional Kodo performances the programme usually builds up to Yataibayashi and O-daiko so the audience leaves the theatre with a lasting impression of the male performers. I think this performance leaves an equally feminine impression. In the early stages of production we worked out a lot of the business for ourselves. At first we thought, ‘Is this going to work on stage?’ I think there is more theatricality in this performance than usual.
I have two pieces in Mystery, Harewataru (meaning “clearing skies”) which is a piece with mainly flute and taiko, and opening up the second act is a piece I composed called Chit Chat. I wanted to express the feeling of girls just having a good chin wag, so the curtain opens to a scene of the women playing and laughing together.
About a year ago Tamasaburo asked us all to submit ideas and compositions for consideration on the theme of ‘mystery’. I had never composed anything before but submitted some pieces anyway and what do you know? They made the cut! It has really made me want to compose more in the future. I discovered that in order to create something that expresses yourself, you don’t have to over think it. However to make something really good I have a lot of studying to do.
After seeing off the apprentices from the year above them in January, there were only 8 new 2nd-year apprentices living together at the Apprentice Centre until they welcomed the new 1st-year apprentices in April. They had to adjust their relationship and learn to cooperate as such a small group. And, they had to deal with the harsh Sado Island winter for the first time.
Through this season, they really had to face each other and take a good look at themselves. But, what they gained from this time must become their energy for their new start as 2nd years.
The apprentices came through this challenging season and by the end of March they’d had a lot of new memorable experiences.
Yoko Fujimoto’s “Voice Circle”: 2 days/1 night with Yoko Fujimoto, spent learning songs and listening to the stories. At the end, they sang Hinei Ma Tov to each other.
Tsuyoshi Maeda from Kodo appeared in “FLAMENCO Sonezaki Shinju.”
The opening night performance was held on April 2 at the New National Theatre. It was a really enjoyable flamenco and live music programme. Tsuyoshi played taiko throughout the production and had a key role in each scene.
Here are pictures of the gorgeous lobby at the theater and Tsuyoshi working hard to tighten the ropes of the taiko all by himself.
“FLAMENCO Sonezaki Shinju” at New National Theater in Apr. 2 (Wed) – 6 (Thu)
We performed at the special event for the new car ferry “Tokiwa-maru” before its public launch.
It was the first time for me to play taiko on a moving ship.
The weather was bad, so it rolled and rocked. Even when we bowed at the end of performance, it was hard to stand straight. This ferry is bigger and more beautiful than I expected! I know we will use this ferry a lot from now on.
April 4 Performance to Commemorate the Maiden Voyage of New Ferry “Tokiwa-maru”
A new ferry has joined the Sado Kisen fleet, which we always use to come and go from Sado Island. This was my first experience of performing on the sea. I was both really excited about the new ferry and really worried about getting seasick.
We set sail and our performance commenced!
We began with okedo-daiko piece Ugachi, which we played as we wove our way through the audience. Then we performed Hobashira Okoshi Ondo, a tradtional workmen’s song for raising the mast on sail boats. Kenta Nakagome played Odaiko, then to finish with a bang we all performed Yatai-bayashi. I could barely stand straight for the encore piece, but once you go with the motion of the waves, you get into a different groove than usual and that was fun in itself.
On April 6, we had a joint 2014 entrance ceremony for the Kodo Apprentice Centre and Fukaura Gakusha (Community Development Course).
From this year, the shape of the Kodo Apprentice Centre has changed and now there are two courses on offer: one for training Kodo performing members and a human-resource-education course focused on community-development initiatives, designed to both to contribute to the development of our home of Sado Island and to spur local development all over Japan.
The participants from each course met at the entrance ceremony for the first time. The 2 participants in the community development course had already started their program. The 12 apprentices hoping to become Kodo performers arrived on the day of the ceremony, on this bus. United at the Kodo Apprentice Centre, they all vowed to make their dreams come true.