“Update from Asakusa” by Naomi Iseki
Update from Asakusa
From July Issue of Japanese Monthly Newsletter “Kodo”
In June, thanks to the cooperation of many locals and numerous others we held five successful performances in Asakusa. Thank you for your support, everyone!
Just like last year, this year there was an array of stalls from shops in Taito Ward set up in the lobby. This kind of lobby setup is unusual on a Kodo tour and quite unique to our Asakusa performances. The shop clerks wore matching happi (workman’s coats) and their presence made the theater atmosphere very lively.
On the first floor, we had an exhibition and also set up a corner where people could play taiko. It provided a chance for many people to play our drums. I hope that the people who had never played taiko before felt a stronger connection to the drums through their hands-on experience.
This time, we also had School Workshop Performances at two schools in Asakusa. For some Kodo members, it was their first time to perform at a school with Kodo. It was such an enjoyable time for all of us to be surrounded by the children with their pure hearts and smiles.
School Workshop Performance in Asakusa
We performed two pieces in front of Asakusa Public Hall in the “Star Plaza” (Walk of Fame) area. Before we performed outside, I went around the locals to let them know we would be doing this and they said “Play taiko as much as you like!” “I’m looking forward to it!,” etc. Then, they even came along to watch us during the outside performance, so I was so happy! On the final day it was drizzling, but when we started to perform Yui,, the sun shined on the performers. I will never forget that moment.
Our Asakusa performances were a success thanks to the help of so many people. During Asakusa’s annual festival Sanja Matsuri, the sound of live music accompanies the portable shrines as they make their way along the streets. Based at Kodo’s Tokyo Office, I will continue to work hard in the hopes that the sound of Kodo’s taiko will also be something the locals in Asakusa look forward to hearing every year!