We would like to announce that performers Kengo Watanabe and Hayato Otsuka have decided to leave the Kodo ensemble at the end of April 2020. We sincerely thank everyone for supporting their activities with Kodo to date.
Message from Kengo Watanabe
It was previously announced that I was planning to leave the Kodo ensemble at the end of May 2021. I’m sorry for the sudden change, but I have decided to move that date forward to the end of April this year.
Looking back on the past eight years since I graduated from high school and moved to Sado Island, it was filled with so many experiences. Back then, I didn’t know how to cook or do laundry at all. I had never thought of taiko as music, and I wasn’t very good at communicating either. I got told off a lot, I cried, and there were a number of times when I almost quit. Through those challenging times, my cohort supported me, the senior members helped me, and you all encouraged me. That’s how I made it to where I am today.
I am leaving Kodo this month, feeling glad to have made it this far. The experiences I had with Kodo are something I will treasure for life.
Thank you very much to everyone who cheered me on, and to everyone at Kodo for their constant support.
Message from Hayato Otsuka
All I want to do is focus on myself and taiko. That’s the only reason I decided to become a Kodo apprentice. Right now, the past seven years since I first came to Sado Island seem to have passed in the blink of an eye. There were a lot of fun times and tough times. Looking back, I see that I was able to keep going as a performer thanks to the many people who supported me. The performances I shared with you all, that is all precious time that I will treasure for life. I am very sorry that I am unable to convey my gratitude to you all in person by performing with Kodo one last time. I will continue to do my best, making the most of all the things I learned during my time with Kodo. I am truly grateful to everyone at Kodo who was by my side and supported me no matter what over the past seven years. I also want to sincerely thank everyone who cheered me on.
Thank you all so very much.