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Sincere Thanks & “Spirited Summer” Photo Gallery

Thank You for Joining us for “Spirited Summer”!

Photo: Erika Ueda
Kodo’s “Spirited Summer” was held at Asakusa Public Hall from July 1st through 3rd and we were delighted to welcome many people to each of the five performances. Thank you all for your warm support and making this special work a success. We sincerely thank everyone who traveled to Asakusa to see us from all over Japan and abroad. We have shared a selection of photos from this performance below.

Photo Gallery

Kodo Special Performance in Asakusa “Spirited Summer”

Photos by Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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“Collaborations on Sado with ‘Tomoro'” by Chieko Kojima

Hello, everyone! How are you?

This year it is Kodo’s 35th anniversary. Over the years our company has broadened its activities to encompass a wide range of performances. Since the days of Sado no Kuni Ondekoza, I have been a dancer surrounded by taiko players. I think I was able to maintain this position within the group thanks to the feel-good surroundings here on Sado Island. Nothing compares to the pleasure I get from performing on Sado Island.
I have some news. Former Kodo member Tetsuro Naito, who composed iconic Kodo pieces such as “Shake,” “Nanafushi” and “Itsuka Mata” (until next time) while he was with our group, and former Kodo apprentice Tomoko Takeda, who plays bamboo flutes, now perform as a duo called “Tomoro.”
This weekend, they will return to Sado Island for performances from July 2 through 6. While Tetsuro was a member of Kodo, he captivated audiences with his unique world of sound and these performances also promise to be unique and dramatic.

One of the concerts has been organized by the people of Kita-Taura, the village where the Kodo Apprentice Centre was located back when Tetsuro was an apprentice.


Another performance will be held at a Japanese inn in Sawata called Urashima. It will be a dinner performance with a creative Sado-themed menu.
Then there will be two performances at Hiyoriyama, a cafe in Ogi that many people visited last year during EC for the Kiyohime photo exhibition. So we have a mini tour on Sado Island from North to South. I say “we” because I am going to join them and I will collaborate with them at every concert!





I am so excited to encounter the sound of Tomoro here on Sado again. After the performances on Sado, we will head to Joetsu for a Yukiai concert. We look forward to seeing you soon at these four special locations.


“Rehearsal for ‘Matsurine'” by Narumi Matsuda

June 24, 2016

Rehearsal for “Matsurine”

Photo: Narumi Matsuda

Yesterday Kodo rehearsed with Miyake-jima Geino Doshikai for the “Matsurine” collaboration today. This concert is jam-packed with “Miyake Taiko” and I am pleased to say it’s already sold out. I am looking forward to the energy that will be created by this powerful performance with a full-house audience.

Photo: Narumi Matsuda

Kodo Appearance at Nagaoka Lyric Hall 20th Anniversary Concert “Matsurine 2016”


United States of America Ambassador to Japan Visits Kodo Village

United States of America Ambassador to Japan Visits Kodo Village

Photo: Erika Ueda

The United States of America Ambassador to Japan, Her Excellency Ms. Caroline Kennedy, came to Sado Island this past weekend to take part in an outdoor sports event called “Sea to Summit.” While she was on Sado, she made time in her schedule to visit us at Kodo Village.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Most of the Kodo members are currently away on tour or for special projects, so it was Kodo member Yoshie Abe and all 19 of the current Kodo apprentices who were on stand-by to warmly welcome Ambassador Kennedy to the Kodo rehearsal hall.

Photo: Erika Ueda

The apprentices gave a very energetic performance for Ambassador Kennedy, who then took part in a taiko experience session and tried her hand at a wide range of drums. Lastly, everyone played a piece together and then we showed Ambassador Kennedy around Kodo Village.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Kodo enjoys touring in the USA every two years and it is such an honor for us to spend time in Japan with diplomats from the USA, too.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Ambassador Kennedy, thank you very much for coming to visit us. We had a wonderful time with you at Kodo Village. We look forward to visiting the USA on tour again next year.

Photo: Erika Ueda

“Seek, Honor, Hone” by Yuichiro Funabashi

June 11, 2016

“Seek, Honor, Hone”

Hello, everyone. I hope you are all keeping well.

We spent April and May on Sado Island rehearsing for various productions and creating new works with our artistic director. It was a very fruitful period.

Now our “Interactive Performance,” “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos,” and “Premium Concert” tours are well underway. These tours will lead us straight into the “Spirited Summer” performances in Asakusa in July, the 35th Anniversary Concerts and new-look “Earth Celebration” in August, then from September we will tour in Japan with our next One Earth Tour production, “Spiral.” We look forward to seeing everyone nationwide during the months ahead.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

Recently, I went to the Kodo Apprentice Centre for two days as an observer. The first year apprentices had only been there for six weeks. The second years had survived the long winter on Sado and now that there are junior apprentices, they have become the reliable seniors. There are 19 apprentices currently training at the Centre and they are all working very hard.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

I also graduated from the Centre and looking back, I remember that fun days were few and far between. My memories are overwhlemingly of hard days, a hectic schedule, and tough daily routine. Even now, when I drive to the Apprentice Centre, my stomach gets tense as I draw closer to the grounds. But I know now that those tough days while I was an apprentice have formed the core of who I am today.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

While I only visited for two days, I could see how the apprentices are doing and immerse myself in the atmosphere of the Centre. Seeing them, it reminded me that you mustn’t forget your original intentions and goals. I found myself gazing at the words framed on the wall, the former school’s education motto: “Seek, Honor, Hone.”
It made me appreciate once more being surround by people who have a hunger to learn and this environment where we can learn so many things.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

Kodo Apprentice Centre cultivates the base and heart of the Kodo stage and the Kodo Group. I hope that many people will hear about our Centre and take an interest in the programme. If you would like to visit, or join the programme, please get in touch. Contact details are available on the webpage listed below.



Kodo Apprentice Centre

“‘An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo’ Sado Performance” by Koharu Ido

“An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo” Sado Performance

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

On May 19, we held the opening night of Kodo Premium Concert “An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo” at Amusement Sado.

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto
This is the first time we have given a performance with a commentary by our artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando. He talked about an array of episodes since his first encounter with Kodo, so it was a very interesting new programme.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
I learned a lot by being involved with this dynamic Kodo performance, which depicts the ensemble’s spiral of evolution from the past into the future.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Our performance on Sado had a unique programme* that also featured some pieces from our next new production, “Kodo One Earth Tour: Spiral.” We hope you’ll join us this fall to see “Spiral” on its first tour throughout Japan.


*Premium Concert programme will differ in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kagawa, & Kumamoto.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We look forward to seeing you all at a theater somewhere soon!

Photos: Takashi Okamoto

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Spiral” Japan Tour

[Kodo 35th Anniversary Special Event] Kodo Premium Concert
–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–


“Thank You for Coming to Our Performances in Tokyo” by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

Thank You for Joining Us at Tokyo University of the Arts for
Kodo Premium Concert

–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

Numerous artists at the forefront of the performing arts scene in Japan and around the world are Tokyo University of the Arts alumni. At the end of May, we gave three performances at the University’s concert hall, which received an enthusiastic response thanks to the presenter and each audience.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
This performance is accompanied by a commentary in Japanese* by our artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando. He speaks of his relationship with Kodo over the past 16 years and thoughts behind his direction.
Tamasaburo’s commentary is filled with surprising stories and jokes, so we are entertained on stage by his words from start to finish.

*Note: His commentary is in Japanese only, so if you don’t understand Japanese, please let our drumming do all the talking.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

I hope everyone who attends this performance will enjoy the programme as much as we do!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
We are now in Kyoto performing at Kyoto Theater, which is located inside the Kyoto Station building. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

Photos: Takashi Okamoto



Kodo Premium Concert

–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–

June 1 (Wed)–3 (Fri), 2016 Kyoto Theater, Kyoto City

June 1 (Wed) 11:00, 16:00 (2 performances)
June 2 (Thu) 11:00, 16:00 (2 performances)
June 3 (Fri) 11:00

Note: Commentary will be in Japanese only.



“‘Talk Saito’ Returns” by Eiichi Saito

“Talk Saito” Returns June 17–19

Hello everyone! How are you?
It’s been hot for a while now in Japan, so I’m sorry to add to the heat with some piping-hot exciting news…

This month I will join Kazuaki Tomida in Tokyo for “Talk Saito 2016” at Tiara Koto Sho-Hall!

June 17 (Fri): Doors Open 18:30 / Start 19:00
June 18 (Sat): Doors Open 16:30 / Start 17:00
June 19 (Sun): Doors Open 14:30 / Start 15:00


Photo: Erika Ueda

The first “Talk Saito” performance was held in the fall of 2003.

It all started when former Kodo member Kazuaki Tomida said “I want to do something fun with you, Eiichi!” We exchanged ideas, then practiced and made our own special duo performance.

It evolved from then into the performances we gave in 2009 and then 2012. This month is our 4th season of “Talk Saito”! And perhaps it will be our grand finale?
This performance is a taiko-meets-comedy show but we are not mucking around. We are both extremely serious about being wholeheartedly foolish for around 2 hours straight.
Please come along and see us live on stage!
One of our alter egos will appear for a lively chat with the audience 15 mins. before each performance, so please come along early enough to take your seat before then. See you there!



Wadaiko Talk Saito 2016

June 17 (Fri), 18 (Sat), 19 (Sun), 2016 Tiara Koto Sho-Hall, Koto Ward, Tokyo


“A Wonderful Sight in Asakusa” by Naomi Iseki

Last week Asakusa in Tokyo held its annual festival, Sanja Matsuri. This week the area is back to normal… which for Asakusa means bustling with tourists!

From the day after the festival, I was greeted by this wonderful sight all along the main street through Asakusa, Kaminarimon-dori.

Photo: Naomi Iseki

A big thank you to the Asakusa Shopping Street Promotion Association for these banners! We are always so happy to receive such great support from the people of Asakusa.

Kodo can feel this warm circle of support growing every year.

Photo: Naomi Iseki
This year, we will present a brand new production in Asakusa called “Spirited Summer,” which will be performed exclusively here. I really hope many people will join us in Asakusa for these performances in July. Of course, we hope you’ll make a day of it and have a great time visiting Asakusa.

▼ [Don’t Miss Out! Last Tickets Now on Sale!] Kodo Special Performance in Asakusa “Spirited Summer”

July 1 (Fri)–3 (Sun), 2016 Asakusa Public Hall, Taito Ward, Tokyo

July 1 (Fri) 15:00
July 2 (Sat) 11:00 / 15:00 (2 performances)
July 3 (Sun) 11:00 / 15:00 (2 performances)

Ticket Outlets:

“A Moving Trip of Firsts” by Issei Kohira

May 16, 2016

A Moving Trip of Firsts

Hello, everyone. I am Issei Kohira, a new Kodo junior member. Nice to meet you all.
From May 10 through 15, I went to Singapore with Kodo.

It was my first time performing overseas with Kodo! Actually, it was also my first time to ever travel abroad!


I was a little anxious as I left Japan for the first time and took the six-hour flight to Singapore. As soon as we arrived, along with the humidity I felt the cheerful warmth of Singapore surround me and my worries quickly disappeared.


Soon after arriving, we went to the rehearsal studio of the local taiko group, Hibikiya, who invited us to Singapore. Then we visited the concert venue.

The waterfront venue, Esplanade, has an outdoor stage and the “backdrop” features some of Singapore’s iconic tourist spots: the Merlion and the Marina Bay Sands. There was also a mall there that was bustling with people enjoying meals and shopping. So just being there was fun.

Kodo went to Singapore for a collaboration with Hibikiya, which has so many members and they are so passionate about playing taiko. Their performances also incorporate bamboo flutes and shamisen (Japanese banjo) and they often invite instructors to their group from Japan to give workshops. I was really moved by their attitude towards taiko.

During their performance, I watched them from behind the stage. They were so lively as they performed and I could feel their love for taiko. Their passion struck my heart and it was uplifting.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto
Meanwhile, when I reflect on my own performance, I have many things to work on as an inexperienced newcomer. It took all my might to try and keep up with the Distinguished Members and senior Kodo members. However, every single move they made taught me, and supported me, so I was able to give the best performance of my current capabilities and strength. During my first performance abroad, I learned where to position myself on the Kodo stage.

Leaving Japan for the first time and traveling overseas, I met people who love taiko and I learned that in only four days we could create such strong bonds, connected through the power of taiko.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto
Now that I have returned to Japan, I sincerely hope these these bonds won’t fade and I am praying that we will all meet again somewhere.

I hope that this experience, full of firsts for me, will help me to grow even more.

Next up, I will appear in “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos.” This will be my first domestic tour with Kodo. I will be the youngest on this tour and I will perform with all of my might on stage throughout Japan.
I am raring to go!!!


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