“A New Endeavor” by Yuichiro Funabashi
A New Endeavor
Hello, everyone. How are you doing?
Time flies! All of a sudden, it’s the second half of the year. Kodo has been on tour throughout Japan for the past two months. Next month, we will hold our 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concerts in Tokyo and festival “Earth Celebration” (EC) on Sado Island.
As previously announced, EC is making a shift from being an event centered on outdoor concerts to a festival that aims to create a new “community” with roots in the local area. Many Kodo members spend a large portion of each year away from Sado Island. While we enjoy touring and sharing performances on the road, we want to take a fresh look at the place we call home, Sado Island, and think about how we can create our own deeper roots here on the island, too. By reconsidering the significance of our travels and our home, we hope our many activities will generate new energy and exchange here on the island.
Top Left: Food and drinks at Vietnamese New Year with a performance by Mr. Min Chi
Top Right: At the entrance to the rehearsal space & accommodations where Mr. Min Chi resides, home to a Cheo troupe.
Bottom Left: Musical exchange in a traditional bamboo house.
Bottom Right: Trying to play a Vietnamese stringed instrument with the help of a master of traditional music.
In February, during our winter, a few of us went to Vietnam and met the guest artists for this year’s EC, traditional music arts ensemble Bac Ha. I am truly looking forward to seeing them again and collaborating with them this summer in Japan. Just reminiscing about the energy of the festival we experienced with them in Hanoi makes my heart leap with excitement. The history of Vietnam is full of hardships and the current state of affairs is complex, but their pride and love for their performing arts remains very strong. This summer, we are not holding large concerts in front of many people at EC. Instead, we look forward to the chance to interact with our guests in a relaxed, fun way and to share that time with our audience in close proximity. We hope to learn from each other and that we will establish connections that lead to further performances and exchange on future occasions in different places.
EC will also present “EC Theatre” and Fringe Stage performances, where Kodo members can share new creative performances alongside other artists. Kodo members will also actively take part in the Sado Island Experience Programmes and workshops on offer, so we can spend time enjoying Sado Island with all the people who come along for EC.
This year’s EC is a new endeavor, so it will take some figuring out and getting used to for all of us. I truly hope EC will become an occasion for the participants, performers, and staff to enjoy a very special, meaningful, enjoyable time on Sado Island alongside the locals. We look forward to welcoming you to Sado Island for EC this August. See you there!
Earth Celebration 2016
Aug. 26 (Fri)–28 (Sun), 2016
Sado Island, Niigata, Japan
Greetings from New Kodo Ensemble Leader Yuichiro Funabashi
It is now 2016, a milestone year for Kodo in which we celebrate our group’s 35th anniversary.
This past year flew by, and when I look back I remember an array of powerful performances: “Mystery,” “Michi,” “Eternity,” “Amaterasu,” “DADAN,” and “Chaos.” I also think of the “School Workshop Performances” and “Special Performances on Sado Island,” as well as various collaborative efforts such as “Earth Celebration,” “Mono-Prism,” the ballet “Kaguyahime,” and our performances on the Indonesian island of Bali.
In “Chaos,” the fourth production by Artistic Director Tamasaburo Bando, we were challenged to explore new forms of expression such as incorporating three drum kits into our performance. By learning and experimenting, we felt the inevitable need to understand ourselves on a deeper level. Through this production, we were able to gain a true sense of just how far Kodo’s stage expression has evolved.
During our rehearsals for “Chaos,” Tamasaburo told us: “I always give my all in every moment. I concentrate on right now, and I still do. By always giving my all ‘right now,’ time has flown, and here I am today.” Hearing a man like him say this — a man who has spent over half a century in the performing arts — made me realize once again that Kodo must practice complete devotion to each and every moment. The sound of our taiko must resonate even further as we face the future — fifty years from now, one hundred years from now, or beyond.
This year we have a wide range of performances planned, including both new works and encore tours. We will seek new challenges through endeavors such as the Kodo Sado Island Performances in Shukunegi, three unique nights at Suntory Hall, “Spirited Summer” at Asakusa Public Hall, the “Kodo One Earth Tour: Spiral” performances, and a new look for Sado’s outdoor festival “Earth Celebration.”
As we reflect on Kodo’s mission statement and history, I hope that by experiencing our performances and feeling our sound, you will join us in the “now.” I look forward to that moment, and kindly ask for your continued support and encouragement.
Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble “Kodo”
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
Thank you very much for your kind support throughout 2015 and to date.
In 2016, Kodo celebrates its 35th anniversary.
Moving forward, we will endeavor to present better performances than ever before.
Thank you in advance for your continued support.
We wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.
Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble
“Kodo Night!” by Shingo Kawamura
Join Us Next Week for Earth Celebration!
“Kodo Night” is the name of the first Shiroyama Concert this year, directed by Tsuyoshi Maeda. With powerful Kodo classics and exciting new pieces, it’s going to be an action-packed programme!
Photo Gallery | Amaterasu
May 2015 Osaka Shochiku-za Theatre, Osaka City
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
Director: Tamasaburo Bando
Cast: Tamasaburo Bando, Kodo (Masaru Tsuji, Yuichiro Funabashi, Mitsuru Ishizuka, Yosuke Oda, Masayuki Sakamoto, Kenta Nakagome, Tsuyoshi Maeda, Eri Uchida, Mariko Omi, Yosuke Kusa, Maya Minowa, Shogo Komatsuzaki, Akiko Ando, Yuta Sumiyoshi, Tetsumi Hanaoka, Kosuke Urushikubo, Jun Jidai, Koki Miura,Shunichiro Kamiya, Ryoma Tsurumi, Kengo Watanabe), former members of OSK Nippon Revue (Konoka Morino, Kokoro Kaai, Yui Suzumine, Kurara Miou)
*The role of Susano’o was performed by Yosuke Oda & Mitsuru Ishizuka as a double cast.
Special Appearance: Harei Aine (Former Takarazuka Revue male role star)
“‘DADAN 2015’ in Asakusa!” by Naomi Iseki
“DADAN 2015” in Asakusa
On June 10, the “DADAN 2015” performances began in Asakusa, Tokyo. The opening performance was sold out, and we could hear the applause echo out into the lobby! The following performances also welcomed full houses. Thank you all for coming along!
At the theater, we had a Kodo Exhibition Corner, which included performer portraits with their handprints and messages. There were some taiko on display, too!
We hope you enjoyed these performances.
Thank you very much for welcoming us back, Asakusa!
Video Introducing “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity”
We invite you to have a look at this new video that introduces our latest production “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity.”
▶Watch on YouTube https://youtu.be/UExUU9LEBmQ
“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity” Japan Tour (June–July, Sep.–Oct.)
[June–July] Kanagawa, Saitama, Gunma, Chiba, Osaka, Nagano, Kyoto, Ehime, Hiroshima
[Sep. Oct.] Chiba, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Yamagata, Iwate, Akita, Shizuoka, Aichi, Hyogo, Tottori, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Kagoshima
“DADAN 2015” Begins June 10 in Asakusa, Tokyo!
Kodo’s “DADAN 2015” performances in Asakusa begin on June 10! Join the all-male cast of thirteen powerhouse Kodo performers for a pulsating ninety minutes of non-stop action. We’re waiting for you all at Asakusa Public Hall!
“DADAN 2015” Rehearsals (At Kodo Village in April)
Photos: Takashi Okamoto
Director: Tamasaburo Bando
Performers: Yuichiro Funabashi, Mitsuru Ishizuka, Yosuke Oda, Masayuki Sakamoto, Tsuyoshi Maeda, Jun Jidai, Koki Miura, Shunichiro Kamiya, Ryoma Tsurumi, Kengo Watanabe, Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga, Hayato Otsuka, Reo Kitabayashi
*Cast subject to change
Ticket Sales Update:
June 10 (Wed): SOLD OUT. Door sales will not be available.
June 13 (Sat), 14 (Sun): Advance ticket sales have concluded, doors sales TBC.
Door Sales Info: Door sales will not be available on June 10 (Wed). For all other performances, door sales are TBC. If available, tickets will be on sale at the venue from 30 mins. before doors open (1 hour before the performance starts).
[May 24] TV Broadcast: BS Fuji “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity)
[May 24] BS Fuji Broadcast of “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity)
Tune in on May 24 for a 30-min. program introducing “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity,” which will tour around Japan from June. It is a new version of the 2014 program with the same title, featuring new interviews and stage footage.
If you’re in Japan, we hope you’ll tune in!
Broadcast Date & Time: May 24 (Sun) 12:00—12:30
Broadcast Channel: BS Fuji
Program Website: BS Fuji “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” http://www.bsfuji.tv/top/pub/kodou.html
About “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Eternity”
Happy New Year from Kodo
Happy New Year from All of Us!
May 2015 be a happy and fruitful year for all of you.