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“Making Mochi at Kodo Village” by Yutaka Teramoto

Photo: Yutaka Teramoto

We just had our annual new-year Mochi-tsuki Taikai (event where we make mochi: pounded rice cake) at Kodo Village.

Photo: Koki Miura

All the Kodo members and staff gathered to pound the steamed rice into mochi outside the Kodo Village dining room.

Photo: Koki Miura

The mochi-making team leader this year was performer Tetsumi Hanaoka (pictured right).

Photo: Tetsumi Hanaoka

We all enjoyed the freshly made mochi for lunch. It was delicious!

“Bon Voyage, Workshop Performance Tour!” by Maya Minowa

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

The Kodo Workshop Performance tour, directed by performer Eri Uchida, left Kodo Village ahead of the One Earth Tour members. We played taiko as we saw them off, without giving in to the rain.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Bon voyage! All the best with your month-long tour as you share the sound of taiko with children around Japan!

Kodo School Workshop Performances
Workshop Performance Schedules

▼Check out this video about the upcoming performance at Kyoto Performing Arts Center Shunjuza, which includes a message from Kenta Nakagome.

▼Watch on YouTube

TV Appearance: tvk “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity)

tvk Programme “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity)

On Nov. 22, a special progamme featuring Kodo will be aired on Television Kanagawa (tvk) in Japan.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

*Photos are not from TV footage


This TV programme was filmed this autumn and features one of the key cast members, Masayuki Sakamoto, giving a tour around Kodo Village, shows the Kodo members off-stage & up-close, as well as taking at behind-the-scenes look at the regimented training they undergo to become performers on the Kodo stage.

The programme will also introduce “Eternity, our brand new production that will tour around Japan from late November through December, alongside various other works directed by and in collaboration with Tamasaburo Bando in recent years.

If you’re in Japan, we hope you’ll tune in!


Television Kanagawa  (tvk) “Kodo Eien no Hibiki” (Kodo, Echoes of Eternity)

Broadcast Date & Time: Nov. 22 (Sat) from 18:30

*Date and time are subject to change without notice.

“Setting off on Tour” by Jun Jidai

Photo: Erika Ueda

We loaded our suitcases onto the bus and set off on the fall “Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Mystery” Japan tour, farewelled by the sound of taiko.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Since last December, we have been touring all over Japan with this production, making an array of adjustments to refine the “Mystery” programme more and more. This will be the last “Mystery” tour in Japan. I wonder what encounters await me on this tour. I am so excited!
First stop is Hokkaido! I’m looking forward to the local food up there!

Photo: Erika Ueda

See you all at one of the theaters on this tour!

Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Mystery” Sep.-Oct. Japan Tour 



“Cast No Dirt in the Well that Gives You Water” by Tetsumi Hanaoka

We cleaned our dormitory at Kodo Village just before we set off on tour!

Photo: Tetsumi Hanaoka
As the saying goes, “Cast no dirt in the well that gives you water”: We will be away for one and half months, so we all worked together to leave our place clean and tidy. Now, we all feel refreshed, too! We will do our very best to present great performances for our audiences. So, please, please come along to see “Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery”!

news20140510oet“Kodo One Earth Tour 2014: Mystery” Sep.–Oct. Japan Tour


“Rehearsals for New Production ‘Eternity'” by Yosuke Kusa

“Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity” Rehearsals

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Rehearsals have been going well for our new production, “Eternity,” which premieres at the end of this year.

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

The sun rises, the wind blows, rain falls, and the stars appear in the still of night.

Since ancient times, nature has created repetitive patterns that this production will express on stage, through the sensibilities of Tamasaburo Bando and our own senses gained through life on Sado Island.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

“Eternity” debuts on Sado Island on Nov. 20 and will tour throughout Japan. We look forward to sharing it with you all!

Photos: Takashi Okamoto

“Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity”


Nov. 20 (Thu) Amusement Sado, Sado Is., Niigata
Nov. 30 (Sun) City Hall Plaza “Aore Nagaoka,” Nagaoka, Niigata
–”Heartbeat Project” Special Version–
Dec. 2 (Tue) Muza Kawasaki Symphony Hall, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Dec. 4 (Thu) Aichi Prefectural Arts Theater Concert Hall, Nagoya, Aichi
Dec. 6 (Sat) & 7 (Sun) NHK Osaka Hall, Osaka City
Dec. 10 (Wed) Okayama Civic Hall, Okayama City
Dec. 12 (Fri) Ueno Gakuen Hall, Hiroshima City
Dec. 15 (Mon) & 16 (Tue) Hakataza Theater, Fukuoka City
Dec. 19 (Fri)–23 (Tue/Public Hol.) Bunkyo Civic Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo
Dec. 25 (Thu) Niigata Prefectural Civic Center, Niigata City



“Valuable Lessons Performers Learn by Making Equipment” by Tomohiro Mitome

Sep. 1, 2014

Photo: Erika Ueda

This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.

It is now September and little by little we can feel hints of autumn in the air. Actually, each year when the Ogi area falls quiet after the lively summer festivals, “Earth Celebration” and “Ogi Matsuri,” this calm feels like autumn has arrived all of a sudden.

This month, I would like to talk about my thoughts on making taiko drumsticks (bachi) and equipment.

Photo: Erika Ueda

I am constantly asked by taiko players, “Do you make your own drumsticks?” While it’s not every single pair, I do generally make my own drumsticks myself. This is connected to one of the core elements of Kodo’s Mission Statement: “Creating.”

When you become an apprentice and enter the Kodo Apprentice Centre, first you make your own chopsticks, then you make your own drumsticks. For the drumsticks, you use a saw to cut a square piece of timber to the right length, then using a plane you whittle the wood from a square piece into round sticks.


At first, you can’t make them well, but no matter how bumpy or oval your drumsticks are, they are filled with your blood, sweat and tears and you’ll be fond of them. And, it is a really huge shock when one of those drumsticks breaks. We really value them, so much so that we all keep our broken drumsticks for a special send-off, in the form of a lunar new year’s bonfire ritual each January.

Each pair of drumsticks is made from the same piece of wood, and if the sticks aren’t almost the same weight, the tone of the drum beats won’t be the same from your left and right hand. We are particular about our sound, so making drumsticks is very important to us.

In other words, for us, making drumsticks = making sound.

▶ read more

“Kodo Apprentice Recital: Okinawan Dance ‘Muribushi'” by Michiko Chida

Aug. 1, 2014

Kodo Apprentice Recital: Okinawan Dance Muribushi

Photo: Erika Ueda

The 2nd year apprentices spent one month learning Okinawan dance Muribushi, during this hot summer season. Today, they performed it for all the Kodo members and staff.

Okinawan dance expert Mitsue Kinjo has been teaching our apprentices for the last twenty years. By learning this unique, traditional Okinawan dance style, the apprentices are taught a fundamental attitude towards learning things. This is a timeless lesson.

“When you aim to create something new, first you have to take something in and absorb it within yourself. Then, something will be created from that. A new creation will come from something that takes root inside you and breathes. It is not something that you try to show or make decorative.”

Mitsue works hard with apprentices, actually, even harder than the apprentices, using her body and voice to passionately show and convey to them the importance of creating your own core.

Photo: Erika Ueda

I am sure that when the Kodo members, and the staff who were formerly apprentices, watch this annual recital that are reminded of their own time practicing as apprentices, frantically trying to use their bodies and minds well.

Photo: Erika Ueda


So, how were they today?

“Your hearts were all together, as one. You really did your best.”

After gruelling practices, Mitsue’s warm words echoed in the apprentices’ hearts. No one was selfish at all, and as individuals they all pulled together to perform together, which created such great power. Maybe today they understood the true meaning of Muribushi at last, which translates as “a group of stars.”

“BLUE TOKYO” Has Arrived!

Aug. 19, 2014

Photo: Jun Akimoto

Today, Earth Celebration 2014 “Shiroyama Concert” guest artist BLUE TOKYO and Mr Hasegawa from DAZZLE arrived on Sado Island and came to Kodo Village.

Photo: Erika Ueda

And we got straight into rehearsals with them! It is going to be such a powerful performance.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

Photo: Erika Ueda

The Kodo members are putting their hearts right into it, too!

Photo: Jun Akimoto

Today it was BLUE TOKYO member Satoshi Ishizuka’s birthday! We wished him a very happy birthday!

Shiroyama Concerts 2014

A Visit from Mr. & Mrs. Ichizawa of Kyoto Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu

Photo: Taro Nishita

Mr. and Mrs. Ichizawa of Kyoto Ichizawa Shinzaburo Hanpu, the makers of some special Kodo and EC merchandise, visited Kodo Village. They currently have a stall at a department store fair in Niigata, so they came a little way further to Sado to see us.

They have been working with Kodo for almost 20 years, but this was their very first visit to Sado Island. They were pleased to hear a sound of higurashi, an evening cicada, which can hardly be heard in Kyoto anymore.
We have some close friends in common with them, so they had a good catch up with Takao Aoki, the president of Kitamaesen Co., Ltd.

Ichizawa Shizaburo Hanpu: http://www.ichizawa.co.jp/en/


“Kodo x Shinzaburo Hanpu Collaboration Bag”

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