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Tag ‘Sado Island’

“Minakuchi Bayashi Lecture & Demo at EC” by Eri Uchida

Earth Celebration 2016
Minakuchi Bayashi Lecture & Demo

This year we will present a Minakuchi Bayashi lecture & demonstration at Earth Celebration! If you’re making the trip all the way to Sado this summer, I hope you’ll join us to take a step even deeper into the world of Japanese performing arts through learning about Minakuchi Bayashi, one of Shiga Prefecture’s intangible folk cultural assets. Come along to hear all about this folk art and watch a demonstration of Minakuchi Bayashi, featuring a few Kodo members, too! Then some attendees will have a chance to play Minakuchi Bayashi with us. This event will be conducted in Japanese, and English support will be provided as required.


The Kodo members who will take part in this event are busy practicing Minakuchi Bayashi in preparation for the demo and Fringe performances. We look forward to seeing you all at Marine Plaza on the second day of EC (Saturday Aug. 27) to enjoy Minakuchi Bayashi.

(PS: It’s air-conditioned so it will be cool and fun!)



Earth Celebration 2016 (Sado Island, Niigata, Japan)
Aug. 27 (Sat) 14:00–15:30 Minakuchi Bayashi Lecture & Demo at Marine Plaza Ogi (2F)

Facilitator: Eri Uchida (Kodo)

Inquiries: Kodo Ticket Service

  • Tel. 0259-86-2330(Mon–Fri 9:30–17:00)Fax. 0259-86-3631 
  • Email: ticket@kodo.or.jp

Event Details: http://www.kodo.or.jp/ec/en/event/lecture/mizuguchi/

“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.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Our farewell to everyone who joined us for EC 2015: Okuri Daiko (Farewell Taiko) at Ogi Port.

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.

Photo: Takuro Susaki

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!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto



Earth Celebration 2016

Aug. 26 (Fri)–28 (Sun), 2016

Sado Island, Niigata, Japan



“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.


United States of America Ambassador to Japan Visits Kodo Village

United States of America Ambassador to Japan Visits Kodo Village

Photo: Erika Ueda

The United States of America Ambassador to Japan, Her Excellency Ms. Caroline Kennedy, came to Sado Island this past weekend to take part in an outdoor sports event called “Sea to Summit.” While she was on Sado, she made time in her schedule to visit us at Kodo Village.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Most of the Kodo members are currently away on tour or for special projects, so it was Kodo member Yoshie Abe and all 19 of the current Kodo apprentices who were on stand-by to warmly welcome Ambassador Kennedy to the Kodo rehearsal hall.

Photo: Erika Ueda

The apprentices gave a very energetic performance for Ambassador Kennedy, who then took part in a taiko experience session and tried her hand at a wide range of drums. Lastly, everyone played a piece together and then we showed Ambassador Kennedy around Kodo Village.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Kodo enjoys touring in the USA every two years and it is such an honor for us to spend time in Japan with diplomats from the USA, too.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Ambassador Kennedy, thank you very much for coming to visit us. We had a wonderful time with you at Kodo Village. We look forward to visiting the USA on tour again next year.

Photo: Erika Ueda

“Seek, Honor, Hone” by Yuichiro Funabashi

June 11, 2016

“Seek, Honor, Hone”

Hello, everyone. I hope you are all keeping well.

We spent April and May on Sado Island rehearsing for various productions and creating new works with our artistic director. It was a very fruitful period.

Now our “Interactive Performance,” “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos,” and “Premium Concert” tours are well underway. These tours will lead us straight into the “Spirited Summer” performances in Asakusa in July, the 35th Anniversary Concerts and new-look “Earth Celebration” in August, then from September we will tour in Japan with our next One Earth Tour production, “Spiral.” We look forward to seeing everyone nationwide during the months ahead.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

Recently, I went to the Kodo Apprentice Centre for two days as an observer. The first year apprentices had only been there for six weeks. The second years had survived the long winter on Sado and now that there are junior apprentices, they have become the reliable seniors. There are 19 apprentices currently training at the Centre and they are all working very hard.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

I also graduated from the Centre and looking back, I remember that fun days were few and far between. My memories are overwhlemingly of hard days, a hectic schedule, and tough daily routine. Even now, when I drive to the Apprentice Centre, my stomach gets tense as I draw closer to the grounds. But I know now that those tough days while I was an apprentice have formed the core of who I am today.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

While I only visited for two days, I could see how the apprentices are doing and immerse myself in the atmosphere of the Centre. Seeing them, it reminded me that you mustn’t forget your original intentions and goals. I found myself gazing at the words framed on the wall, the former school’s education motto: “Seek, Honor, Hone.”
It made me appreciate once more being surround by people who have a hunger to learn and this environment where we can learn so many things.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

Kodo Apprentice Centre cultivates the base and heart of the Kodo stage and the Kodo Group. I hope that many people will hear about our Centre and take an interest in the programme. If you would like to visit, or join the programme, please get in touch. Contact details are available on the webpage listed below.



Kodo Apprentice Centre

“‘An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo’ Sado Performance” by Koharu Ido

“An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo” Sado Performance

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

On May 19, we held the opening night of Kodo Premium Concert “An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo” at Amusement Sado.

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto
This is the first time we have given a performance with a commentary by our artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando. He talked about an array of episodes since his first encounter with Kodo, so it was a very interesting new programme.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
I learned a lot by being involved with this dynamic Kodo performance, which depicts the ensemble’s spiral of evolution from the past into the future.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Our performance on Sado had a unique programme* that also featured some pieces from our next new production, “Kodo One Earth Tour: Spiral.” We hope you’ll join us this fall to see “Spiral” on its first tour throughout Japan.


*Premium Concert programme will differ in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kagawa, & Kumamoto.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We look forward to seeing you all at a theater somewhere soon!

Photos: Takashi Okamoto

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Spiral” Japan Tour

[Kodo 35th Anniversary Special Event] Kodo Premium Concert
–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–


[TV Broadcast] Upcoming Kodo Appearances on AKB48 Nemousu TV

Upcoming Kodo Appearances on AKB48 Nemousu TV



Recently Kodo was given the opportunity to help Niigata’s new girl group “NGT48” with team building by hosting them for an intensive taiko camp. This story will be broadcasted as a three-part documentary on CS Family Theater’s “AKB48 Nemousu TV.” If you are subscribed to this Japanese cable channel, please tune in to see how the girls get on playing taiko together following the lead of their passionate facilitator, Kodo’s Eiichi Saito. The programme will air on Sundays for three weeks in a row from May 22 (Sun).

Programme Title: AKB48 Nemousu TV

About Programme: Documentaries showing AKB48 as they follow orders from unique instructors in various settings.
Broadcast Dates & Times Featuring Kodo: May 22 , May 29, June 5 (Sun) 18:00–18:30
Programme Website: http://www.fami-geki.com/nemousu22/
*This programme is only available to CS Family Theater cable channel subscribers.


NGT48 Go to Taiko Camp on Sado Island

This documentary features NGT48, the Niigata sister-group of Tokyo’s AKB48, which debuted in Jan. 2016. Like any new group, they face many challenges with group dynamics. This programme sends the NGT48 members off to a taiko camp with Kodo’s Eiichi Saito for a special live-in, team-building experience. Tune in to see what effect taiko and Saito’s passion have on the group. This three-part documentary will span three consecutive Sundays. We hope you’ll tune in!


Photo from AKB48 Nemousu TV website

“A Taste of Vietnam at EC 2016” by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

 A Taste of Vietnam at Earth Celebration 2016


Hello, everyone. I hope you are all keeping well.
On Sado we have been rehearsing for various new productions every day. Preparations are also underway for this year’s Earth Celebration (EC).
For EC 2016, we have invited guest artists from Vietnam to join us for a concert at Kodo Village. I went to Vietnam in February on a field trip to prepare for this collaboration.

When we arrived in Hanoi, it was right around Lunar New Year.

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

It was bright and festive, with lanterns and Vietnamese flags everywhere.

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

We tried a range of local cuisine,

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

walked throughout the city,

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

and enjoyed exchange with an array of local artists.

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

We delighted in the various similarities and differences between our cultures.

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

Immersed in the local atmosphere, the week just flew by as we enjoyed local food and local music.

This trip reminded me of the importance of international exchange, visiting new places, and experiencing other cultures firsthand with local people.

I hope our Kodo Village Concert at EC 2016 will be an opportunity for us to recreate and share a taste with our audience of the local atmosphere and culture that we experienced in Vietnam.
EC 2016 has other unique performances by Kodo members on the lineup, too.
We look forward to seeing everyone on Sado Island this August for EC!


Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga
“EC 2016 Kodo Village Concert” Assistant Director



Earth Celebration 2016

*Details about EC 2016 will be announced in English in late May. Tickets go on sale from June 20.

“Our Sado Performance Tomorrow” by Yuta Sumiyoshi

Performance on Sado Island on May 19th!


On May 19, we will perform a new piece that I composed, which will feature in “Kodo One Earth Tour: Spiral” from September. This is a special addition to the Sado Premium Concert that will not be included in the other Premium Concerts. So don’t miss it! Please come along!




[Kodo 35th Anniversary Special Event] Kodo Premium Concert

–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–

May 19 (Thu), 2016 Amusement Sado, Sado Island, Niigata

Doors Open: 18:00 / Start: 18:30
Tickets: SS-seats 5,000 yen, S-seat 4,500 yen *Elementary to high school students receive 2,000 yen back at the door.
Seating Details: All seats reserved. Please refrain from bringing preschoolers (ages 5 & under).
Ticket Outlets: Amusement Sado Tel. 0259-52-2001 (Tue–Fri, 9:00–17:00, tickets must be collected at Amusement Sado), Kodo Ticket Service Tel. 0259-86-2330 (Mon–Fri, 9:30–17:00)
Sado Performance Details: http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/20160519b_en.html

“Only Two Days until our Sado Performance” by Kenta Nakagome

Sado Performance on May 19th!

Photo: Erika Ueda

In two days, we will present our debut Kodo Premium Concert here on Sado Island, “–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–.”

Our stage rehearsals are well under way.
We hope to see you at the theater on May 19th!


There will be a chance for you to play taiko at the venue, too!



[Kodo 35th Anniversary Special Event] Kodo Premium Concert

–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–

May 19 (Thu), 2016 Amusement Sado, Sado Island, Niigata

Doors Open: 18:00 / Start: 18:30
Tickets: SS-seats 5,000 yen, S-seat 4,500 yen *Elementary to high school students receive 2,000 yen back at the door.
Seating Details: All seats reserved. Please refrain from bringing preschoolers (ages 5 & under).
Ticket Outlets: Amusement Sado Tel. 0259-52-2001 (Tue–Fri, 9:00–17:00, tickets must be collected at Amusement Sado), Kodo Ticket Service Tel. 0259-86-2330 (Mon–Fri, 9:30–17:00)
Sado Performance Details: http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/20160519b_en.html

▼Further performances will be held in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kagawa, & Kumamoto

[Kodo 35th Anniversary Special Event] Kodo Premium Concert

–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–

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