Leader, Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble
I wish you a very happy new year.
The future is now. This saying has resonated with me over the past year as we celebrated Kodo’s 40th anniversary, learning from our history and sharing many of our wide-ranging connections with the world. I felt the culmination of every moment, every now, to date when Kodo gave its all. All those moments created the future we are experiencing now. Throughout our milestone year, we shared the sound of our taiko with the world through an array of offerings. We were able to carry out so many fulfilling activities, ranging from our extensive domestic tours and residencies in Tokyo and on Sado to cross-genre collaborations and the launch of new albums, a DVD, and Kodo Taiko School online. This was all made possible thanks to your support and words of encouragement, which helped us press on amidst really difficult circumstances. We are truly grateful to everyone who cheered us on.
The future is now. We begin the new year with these words in mind as we face the challenges that await us: honing our Tsuzumi and Warabe productions on tour, and creating new works including Shoso, Kodo One Earth Tour: Cycles, and a collaboration with Niigata-based dance company Noism. Each time we set off from Sado Island to travel to places all over Japan and around the world, we will look forward to the many reunions and new encounters that await us. Every day, we will make the most of the present as we push forwards into the future, heading towards Kodo’s 50th and 100th anniversary celebrations.
I sincerely hope that 2022 is a great one for all of you. I kindly ask for your continued guidance and encouragement throughout the year ahead.
Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble
President, Kitamaesen Co., Ltd.
Happy New Year, everyone.
Despite the effects of the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic, we were able to resume our activities in 2021. Thanks to your support, we were able to hold an array of 40th anniversary commemorative performances. I am truly grateful to all of you.
For forty years, Kodo has visited places all over Japan and around the world, and we have been showered with applause. But it’s not like that every day. Most of the time, our daily grind is slow and steady. When we tour, our days are filled with recurring tasks, different venues and hotels, and long bus and plane journeys. When I was on tour, I started to notice the people in the places we visited, each with their own slow, steady daily grind. I found the variety and depth of their jobs remarkable. I realized that while we all have a daily grind that may seem modest, it is in fact necessary and important. We are all contributing in our own way.
On our travels, we encounter various people with various callings. I think using the power of taiko to connect people to one another is our calling. Little by little, day by day, we foster communication and connections between people from many walks of life.
These days, the COVID-19 pandemic feels like an oppressive cloud bearing down on us. The mental burden is huge: on a daily basis, we grapple with the risk of contracting the virus, numerous restrictions, and uncertainty about supply chains, the economy, and more. It’s in uneasy times like these that we need to develop broader connections so that we can support and help one another. We will keep striving to do that through our ongoing One Earth Tour.
I sincerely hope that you will keep supporting us and cheering us on, too.
Kitamaesen Co., Ltd.
Chairperson, Kodo Cultural Foundation
Happy New Year!
The ongoing pandemic had a huge impact on our organization and its worldwide activities, which predominantly revolve around performing arts. COVID-19 showed no signs of going away last year, so Kodo Cultural Foundation was forced to keep its COVID-19 countermeasures tightly in place. This led to Earth Celebration being held online and large restrictions on our other initiatives, too.
Even amidst those circumstances, we didn’t give up. We filled 2021 with a range of new challenges. We pooled resources with the Kodo Group to launch Kodo Taiko School online. This initiative has received a great response and given us a fresh chance to share the appeal of taiko with people around the world. At Sado Island Taiko Centre, we opened the doors to T’s Cafe, welcoming people to a community space built to foster new encounters and feel-good conversations. This year, we will continue to expand our offerings, creating even more opportunities for exchange.
We won’t let the pandemic beat us. We’ll keep doing what we can to help taiko connect people—to one another and to nature.
I hope this year is a wonderful year for all of you. I kindly ask for your continued, strengthened support.
Kodo Cultural Foundation