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“School Workshop Performances in Yonezawa!” by Shogo Komatsuzaki

June 10, 2015

School Workshop Performances in Yonezawa, Yamagata

Photo: Shogo Komatsuzaki


This week the One Earth Tour cast has split into two teams: one is in Asakusa giving “DADAN 2015” performances, and one is in Yonezawa giving “School Workshop Performances.” The DADAN performances feature a powerful, all-male cast drumming for 90 minutes non-stop. It’s the rainy season now in Japan so it’s quite muggy, but I’m sure all this energetic drumming will invigorate the audiences.

I am in Yonezawa with the School Workshop Performance team. We are giving upbeat performances at elementary schools.

Photo: Mitsunaga MatsuuraPhoto: Mitsunaga MatsuuraPhoto: Mitsunaga Matsuura

I am really happy that Kodo has the chance to share the sound of taiko with audiences of all ages all over Japan and around the world. Also, our School Performances give us a chance to interact with so many children, so we get to help inspire future generations. I value everyday that I get to spend interacting with them and always do my best.


photo: Mitsunaga Matsuurashogokomatsuzaki_s

“On Tour with the Workshop Performances!” by Eri Uchida

June–July Workshop Performance Tour is Now Underway!

Our cast is back together again after the North America “Mystery” tour in winter, and the “Michi,” “Mono-Prism” and “Amaterasu” performances in spring. Every time we come back from a tour, the scenery on Sado Island has changed so much with the seasons that it never looks like we have returned to the same place. I feel the power of nature when I see these dramatic changes. It always makes me ask myself how much I have grown over the same span of time.

Our “Workshop Performance” cast had been apart working on various projects for almost half a year, but when we regrouped I think we had all become stronger and more reliable in many ways.


For our School performances, we perform in front of children who are sitting up close to us. If we tell them, “You can hear our drums even if you block your ears!,” or say “The drums make the air and the floor shake, so the sound also reverberates throughout your bodies!,” the children will block their ears and touch the floor, or even put their ears to the floor to have a listen. They all listen to our performance freely, as they please.


These sensations are something that they cannot experience through a TV or computer screen: they have to attend a live performance to experience our sound and vibrations like that. Nowadays, there is so much information available through technology and screens, but everyday on our tour I think about how important it is for people to experience and feel sensations offline, with their body and senses. I want the children to continue to do this. As I think about this, I continue to hone my own senses.

On our current tour we have spent almost 3 weeks in Matsumoto, Nagano. We perform 10 times a week, giving performances five days a week in the morning and afternoon. Everyday we learn so much from spending time with children, so it is a very fulfilling experience!

As our tour continues, I look forward to sharing our live sound and powerful vibrations with more and more people.

School Workshop Performances

July 20 (Mon), 2015 “Hello Kodo” Small Ensemble Performance, Kashiwazaki, Niigata


“Taiko Workshops in New Zealand” by Yoshikazu Fujimoto

Taiko Workshops in New Zealand

My taiko workshops at IPC Tertiary Institute in Palmerston North, New Zealand, went very well. The workshops were hosted by the members of IPC’s taiko group, Kodama. They gathered participants for the workshops by spreading the word around other taiko teams in New Zealand. On the first day I led workshops for Kodama, and then on Days 2 & 3 I gave open workshops for taiko players from all over NZ.



Kodama was formed 25 years ago and is the oldest of all the 13 taiko groups in NZ. It was set up by Japanese students studying in NZ who formerly played taiko in Japan, so even now many of their members are Japanese students. They held my workshops at their dojo on the university campus.


At the dojo


There is a wonderful building next to their dojo that has a dining hall and guest accommodations, so it was the perfect set-up for a live-in taiko workshop.

I was so happy to have the chance to come to NZ by myself. Kodo has never been there, so I was really lucky. I really want to develop our connection with their taiko community, so I did my best, as always, to lead passionate, fun workshops. It was a real pleasure to see that the participants were delighted with the workshops I led.



On my arrival, I went sightseeing in Auckland. I heard that Sky Tower in Auckland is about the same height as Tokyo Tower.


“‘Eternity’ Performance in Joetsu, Niigata” by Koki Miura

June 8, 2015

Yesterday we gave a performance at the Joetsu Bunka Kaikan in Joetsu, Niigata. Since we are from Sado Island in the same prefecture, they gave us a very warm welcome with their applause. Thank you very much to everyone who came along.

At the theater, we received these treats.

Photo: Koki Miura


The presenter gave us one of Joetsu’s own “soul foods”: Sando-pan (Sandwich Bread). I’ve been to Joetsu many times but I had never heard about sando-pan before.

Also, we received two iconic Niigata soul foods: sasa dango (sweet dumplings wrapped in sasa leaves) and chimaki (sticky rice dumplings)! They were all handmade for us by the mother of one of the staff members.

Photo: Koki Miura

Two of our cast members, Mariko Omi and Kengo Watanabe, are from Niigata Prefecture. Mari loves chimaki and Kengo loves sasa dango, so they were both really happy! We all thoroughly enjoyed these treats!




“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour

“‘Voice Camp’ in Wachi Report” by Yoko Fujimoto

May 3–5 Voice Camp in Wachi


For the first time in 19 years, I led a live-in workshop! This 2015 workshop camp was presented by Wachi Taiko, who are based in (my husband/Kodo member) Yoshikazu Fujimoto’s hometown. The workshop took place amidst the beautiful, colorful spring surroundings of violet wisteria and green foliage.

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I wanted the participants to enjoy the Wachi area in many ways, so I had asked our facilitator, Mr Fumitaka Ideno, to show me around various spots and together we decided the places we would visit. During the camp, we enjoyed and cherished the echoes of our voices, sang together at those spots, and the participants and I had three days full of excitement and fresh energy.


The workshops took place at the gym of a former elementary school, the lodge at the camp site where we stayed, a temple dedicated to Kannon, which was established in the Muromachi Period (early 14th to late 16th century), and the early-morning mountainside of Mt. Choro.

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“The ‘Eternity’ & ‘DADAN’ Cast & Crew Set Off on Tour!” by Koki Miura

We’re on Our Way!

Yesterday we saw the School Workshop/Interactive Performance tour group off from Kodo Village, and today it’s our turn! The “Eternity & DADAN” team is on its way!


We were sent off from Kodo Village with a taiko farewell and warm wishes.

We’ll travel safely and see you all soon!

We’re looking forward to see everyone at theaters around Japan for “Eternity” and in Tokyo for “DADAN”!



“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour


 “DADAN 2015” in Asakusa, Tokyo (June 11–15 only)

“The School Workshop/Interactive Performance Team Sets Off!” by Koki Miura

June 3, 2015

The School Workshop/Interactive Performance Team Sets Off from Kodo Village!


We only just got back to Sado Island after “Amaterasu” in Osaka, but after a few days of rehearsals, we are all heading off on tour again! Next on the agenda for Kodo we have the School Workshop/Interactive Performances, “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” around Japan, and “DADAN 2015” in Asakusa, Tokyo. The School Workshop/Interactive Performance team has set off first.

Safe travels, everyone!


▲Here’s a photo of us waving them off, taken from one of the departing cars.


“The Curtain Rises for ‘Amaterasu'” by Akiko Ando

May 2015 “Amaterasu”



On May 3, the curtain rose for this year’s season of “Amaterasu” at Osaka’s Shochiku-za Theatre. I also took part in the 2013 “Amaterasu” performances and it is my favorite programme! So I am so happy to have the chance to perform in it again. The famous scene in the story where the sun goddess Amaterasu emerges from the cave is so moving each time, even for us right there on the stage. But I must admit that I was so moved by this scene on Sunday, May 3rd, for the first time in two years that I found myself fighting back my tears.


One month may sound long but it’s actually quite short. I’m making the most of every day and I will do my very best right until the curtain falls on the final performance. I am looking forward to seeing you all in the audience!


Photos: Takashi Okamoto
Courtesy of Shochiku-za Theatre



May 2015 “Amaterasu” (Osaka City)

“Rehearsals for Brand New Production ‘Chaos'” by Yuta Sumiyoshi

Apr. 27, 2015

Rehearsals for Brand New Production “Chaos”

Photo: Takashi OKamoto

Our rehearsals began with a talk from artistic director Tamasaburo Bando about the new production’s title, “Chaos.”

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

While the title is “Chaos,” Tamasaburo said he wants the audience to feel “harmony” when they come to this performance. If he called it “Harmony,” noone would know where that harmony would occur. Harmony has somewhere to emerge from somewhere, so you need chaotic parts. As he explained the concept to us, he jokingly admitted that this might be a humble Japanese form of expression.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

This production features Japanese drums (wadaiko), naturally, but it also incorporates Western drumkits.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Rehearsals with Tetsuya Kajiwara, former drummer of “The Blue Hearts”

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“Off to Osaka for ‘Amaterasu’!” by Tetsumi Hanaoka

Apr. 28, 2015
Photo: Tetsumi Hanaoka

My view from the bus as we were waved off from Kodo Village.

We set off from Kodo Village today to head to Osaka for the “Amaterasu” performances, which begin on May 3 at Osaka Shochiku-za Theatre.

We will be giving performances there for almost a month, so please come along. We’ll be waiting for you!



May 2015 “Amaterasu” (Osaka)

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