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[Sep. 15–25, 2016] Chieko Kojima Appearance with TaikoProject in “Road to Kumano” (USA)

Chieko Kojima Appearance with TaikoProject in “Road to Kumano” (Los Angeles, CA, USA)


This month, Chieko Kojima will appear in “Road to Kumano” a collaborative work with TaikoProject in Los Angeles. If you’re in the area, we hope you’ll come along!


Sep. 15 (Thu), 16 (Fri), 17 (Sat), 18 (Sun), 22 (Thu), 23 (Fri), 24 (Sat), 25 (Sun), 2016

(10 performances)

David Henry Hwang Theater, East West Players, Los Angeles, California, USA

Doors Open: TBA

Dates & Start Times
Sep. 15 (Thu) 20:00
Sep. 16 (Fri) 20:00
Sep. 17 (Sat) 14:00 & 20:00
Sep. 18 (Sun) 14:00
Sep. 22 (Thu) 20:00
Sep. 23 (Fri) 20:00
Sep. 24 (Sat) 14:00 & 20:00
Sep. 25 (Sun) 14:00

Price: $30–$50

Ticket Availability: Now on sale

Venue Website: http://www.eastwestplayers.org

Event URL: http://www.eastwestplayers.org/on-the-stage/road-to-kumano/

Inquiries: TaikoProject http://taikoproject.com

“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.


“An Invitation to ‘Yukiai–Kiyohime'” by Chieko Kojima

Earth Celebration 2015 EC Theatre

Chieko Kojima’s “Yukiai–Kiyohime”

On August 23, the third day of EC 2015, I cordially invite you to join me for EC Theatre event, “Yukiai–Kiyohime.”  This year we published a Kiyohime photobook and I am also working on a DVD. I look forward to sharing the world of Kiyohime with more people around the world.

First, allow me to introduce the original cast members: Shunsuke Kimura (fue [flute], shamisen [Japanese banjo]), Shingo Ikegami (koto [harp]), Hiromi Nishida (violin), and Ayuko Ikeda (percussion).


At EC, we will have a special cast that features Park Soon-A playing a Korean harp, the gayaguem. I look forward to portraying Kiyohime in another realm of sound.

But wait, there’s more! On Day 2, there will be an Iwami Kagura performance on the Fringe Stage and one of the members, Taizo Kobayashi, will join me for EC Theatre to perform a serpent dance. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have this cast together. Don’t miss it!


The other day I visited Mr. Kobayashi at his workshop. We had a meeting about EC Theatre and rehearsed together. Our preparation is going really well!

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

I will perform my signature piece, Hana Hachijo, at the climax of the production.
I hope you will come along to see my unique portrayal of Kiyohime from the Tales of Dojoji.


Kiyohime Synopsis

In the springtime
A young girl played in the fields all day long
Chasing after flowers and frolicking butterflies with a pure heart Her name was Kiyohime
One day, a handsome traveling monk appeared before Kiyohime
She fell in love with him at first sight
It was in the early days of summer when dew sparkled on the fresh foliage
Before long, the morning came for the monk to leave
They promised each other that they would meet again
As Kiyohime awaited his return, her arduous yearning for the monk intensified with every day
The promised day of their reunion came and went
But the monk never appeared
Kiyohime learned that he had avoided her by taking another route
Kiyohime chased after the monk, but he escaped Kiyohime gained on him, in close pursuit
Yet the monk drove her away and vanished
Before she knew it, her sorrowful heart had started to smoulder A deep, fiery crimson red
It scattered her love, flowers, and tears
As she chased the monk, Kiyohime turned into a snake And drove the monk into a temple bell
Cornering him at last
Now a fire-breathing snake, Kiyohime coiled herself around the temple bell Enveloping it in bright, red flames along with her
Kiyohime laid her purified soul down on a pillow of snow And off it drifted
To another realm



Also, during EC please come along to see the “Kiyohime on Sado Island” Chieko Kojima × Maiko Miyagawa Photo Exhibiton. It will be held at Hiyoriyama, a cozy cafe on the main shopping street in Ogi. We hope you will enjoy this portrayal of Kiyohime‘s journey through the changing seasons on Sado Island.
Details: http://www.kodo.or.jp/ec/en/event/others/kiyohime/

Chieko Kojima “Yukiai–Kiyohime”

“Chieko Kojima & Masami Miyazaki ‘Taiko Camp in Fukuchiyama’ Report” by Masami Miyazaki

Chieko Kojima & Masami Miyazaki “Taiko Camp in Fukuchiyama”

Chieko Kojima & I led a taiko camp in Fukuchiyama from May 22 through 24. It was such a fun three days with the 18 participants who gathered from Maizuru, Himeji, Hiroshima, Gifu, Aichi, Yokohama, Tokyo, and even Australia!

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On the first day, after the orientation, everyone got straight into the first taiko performance workshop, based on “Hana Hachijo.” Everyone was quite rigid and nervous on the first day. (But that night… they loosened up during a fun party)

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On Day 2, in the morning we split into two teams: one went for a walk through the local hills while the other team made breakfast. Then we all spent the rest of the day playing taiko.

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Everyone also learned part of a dance and got ready for a recital & mini concert to display everything they had learned.
That night, we were all licking our lips at the deer and wild boar on the BBQ. Then we gathered around a campfire and everyone danced like crazy to the sound of the taiko, chappa (cymbals), and bamboo flute.

We later found out that some people could hear us 10 km away!


On the last day, we held a recital and mini concert to show our appreciation to everyone who helped us, as well as to cheer on the people of Fukuchiyama, who have been hit by natural disasters in recent years. Everyone who came along, from little kids to senior citizens, had huge smiles from start to finish. We all danced a local dance together in a big circle to end the event.

Fukuchiyama is written using the kanji character for “happiness,” and the locals say you come there for happiness. I hope we can come again for some more happiness with them all soon.


This taiko camp was presented by the four members of Fukuchiyama-based wadaiko unit “Hitotsu.” We are so grateful for their warm welcome and generous hospitality. Thank you, Hitotsu!

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After the camp, Chieko and I appeared on a local radio (FM Tamba) broadcast with Makoto Shimozawa, the leader of Hitotsu.


[Kodo Online Store] Chieko Kojima Photo Book: Kasane no Kiyohime Monogatari –The Myriad Layers of Kiyohime–

Chieko Kojima × Maiko Miyagawa Photo Book

Kasane no Kiyohime Monogatari –The Myriad Layers of Kiyohime–”
Now Available from Kodo Online Store


Chieko Kojima has based her life’s work on the story of Anchin and Kiyohime from the Dojoji Tales.

Over the course of a year, she let her own unique Kiyohime explore the four seasons on Sado Island to create a brand new tale in collaboration with photographer Maiko Miyagawa. This stunning collection is now available as a photo book.

Released: April 30, 2015

Price: 2,500 yen

Size: 32 pages (H: 25.5cm / W: 21cm)


Photo Book “Kasane no Kiyohime Monogatari –The Myriad Layers of Kiyohime–”
http://www.kodo.or.jp/store/34_1468.html (Japanese store webpage)

KOLSE_logoFor orders in English, please contact the Kodo Online Store by email: store.eng@kodo.or.jp

Orders can be shipped to 120 countries around the world. 

“Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2015: Spring”: Message from the Performers

From This Weekend! Apr. 25 (Sat), 26 (Sun), May 2 (Sat)–5 (Tue/Public Hol.), 2015 
“Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2015: Spring”

We’re getting ready for our “Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2015: Spring,” which commence this Saturday!
Here is a message from Yoshikazu Fujimoto and Chieko Kojima about this year’s programme (in Japanese).

We hope you’ll come along!


Kodo Special Performances on Sado Island 2015: Spring

“The Year 33 (2014-2015) Apprentices Commence Their 2nd Year” by Michiko Chida

Feb. 21, 2015

Photo: Michiko Chida

Year 33 class of Kodo Apprentices finished their 1st year of our programme in January and started their 2nd year in February. They used to rely on the apprentices in the year above for all kinds of things, but those senior apprentices have left the nest, so now there are just eight of them living here: 7 males and 1 female. The number of apprentices has halved, so they have to cooperate more than ever and figure out how to live together comfortably, as a new team. Otherwise, they will not be able to concentrate on their studies nor improve as a class.

On top of those changes, a powerful, relentless cold wave hit Sado during their transition period. It was the first winter on Sado for the new 2nd year apprentices, so they looked nervous to find out just how cold it would get. One night, when it was forecast to reach a low of -4℃ , one of the apprentices anxiously asked me:
“Is is going to get even colder?”
I said, “No, no, this is the coldest it gets on Sado. It won’t get any colder than this, so you can wear your warmest clothes now. You’ll be all right, you will survive!”

They had a dance practice day on one of those freezing cold days in February.

Photo: Michiko Chida

Ohara-bushi Dance Practice

While teaching them Ohara-bushi, a Tsugaru dance from Aomori Prefecture in Northern Honshuu, Chieko Kojima looked outside and happily exclaimed, “Perfect! It really looks like Aomori!”

Photo: Michiko Chida

Onikenbai (demon sword dance) Practice

Yasuhiko Ishihara, the head of the Apprentice Centre, teaches them demon sword dance Onikenbai, which is a traditional performing art from Iwate Prefecture, also located in northern Japan. He told them, “The locals practice this dance outside at this time of year…”

The Year 33 apprentices must have become both physically and mentally stronger since last year…

I hope they will have grown even more by the time the new 1st year apprentices join them in April.

“Autumn ‘Kiyohime’ Photo Shoot on Sado Island” by Chieko Kojima

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

Hi, everyone! How are you? It’s Chieko here. I’d like to tell you about the “Kiyohime Picture Scroll” project I am currently working on.

“Kiyohime” is a profound work that I perform as part of my solo Yukiai performances, which is based on the female protagonist, Kiyohime, from the Dojoji Tales. For a year now, I have let that character loose on Sado Island to take photographs backed by the distinct four seasons for a Kiyohime photo book. Photographer Maiko Miyagawa, who is also an official photographer at Earth Celebration, is taking the photos for this project. This work is a collabration between the two of us.

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

Kiyohime standing in a freezing cold blizzard…

reaching out to a subtle color or fragrance…

basking in the light refracted from the summer sea…

making leaves fall all around with the resonating sound of her taiko playing…

We have captured a special story of Kiyohime through the camera lens as the seasons perpetually change.

Photo: Maiko MiyagawaPhoto: Maiko Miyagawa

Snow, wind, sea, flames, forest, flowers… everything was beautiful…

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

This photo book is also a collaboration with beautiful Sado Island.

It will be printed on traditional Japanese paper. So, no two will be the same.

Our book will go on sale in Spring 2015. I’m so excited.


For those of you who can’t wait, here are just a few of Kiyohime’s autumn scenes.

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

Photo: Maiko Miyagawa

I hope you will enjoy the seasons of beautiful Sado with Kiyohime once our work is complete!


With photographer Maiko Miyagawa


Thank You for Supporting “Dojoji”

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In April 2015, Chieko Kojima will join Taiko Meantime, a taiko group based in Greenwich, London, to tour around the UK with a collaboration based on the tale of “Dojoji.”

Taiko Meantime set up a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help fund this project. We are pleased to report that they successfully reached their fundraising goal. Thank you very much for your support!

“Dojoji” Kickstarter Campaign Webpage

Taiko Meantime Website

Kodo Blog|Seeking Support for “Dojoji” in the UK

Seeking Support for “Dojoji” in the UK

London-Based Taiko Group “Taiko Meantime” is Seeking Support for Its Upcoming Collaboration with Chieko Kojima

In April 2015, Chieko Kojima will join Taiko Meantime, a taiko group based in Greenwich, London, to tour around the UK with a collaboration based on the tale of “Dojoji.”  Taiko Meantime is seeking supporters to help back this project by way of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Thank you in advance for your support!

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Support Taiko Meantime and Chieko Kojima’s UK Tour 2015


Taiko Meantime Website


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