Happy New Year!
It’s the start of a brand new year: 2018. Kodo spent about half of 2017 touring in the USA and Japan with “DADAN” and throughout the year we presented “Interactive Performances” for school children and the public all over Japan. Last year, our varied lineup also included “Yugen,” our second major collaboration with Tamasaburo Bando, and special events on Sado Island such as “Earth Celebration” and “Kodo Sado Performances in Shukunegi.” Looking back, it was a whirlwind with so many different programmes, but it made for a very fulfilling year. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone for their support throughout 2017.
In autumn last year, I had the opportunity to talk with Ryutaro Kaneko, a former senior Kodo member who we regularly invite to teach at Kodo Apprentice Centre. He told me that, “In any village or community, the fourth generation will start to question its true worth.”
In my official greeting at the beginning of 2017, I talked about two Japanese words that sound the same but have different meanings: shinka (evolve) and shinka (deepen). With Ryutaro’s words in mind, I would like to add a third word to that list: shinka (true worth). Kodo is entering an important era, just like the one Ryutaro described, and recently I have noticed the great weight of this new era.
A group such as ours is based on the wealth of ideas and skills that the senior members share with every new member. That precious asset makes all of our activities possible. By upholding the teachings of those before us, and enjoying the present, we can then hand that asset down to the next generation. This year we will continue to push ourselves to discover more of the endless possibilities of taiko performing arts. In 2018, our wide-ranging activities start with an extensive tour in Europe with “Kodo One Earth Tour 2018: Evolution.” We will dedicate ourselves to our work throughout the year with three things in mind: evolve, deepen, and consider Kodo’s true worth.
I sincerely hope that this year will be another good year for all of you. I kindly ask for your steadfast support and guidance throughout 2018.
Kodo Ensemble Leader
Jan. 1, 2018