“Kodo × Miyake-jima Geino Doshi-kai” by Reo Kitabayashi

Kodo × Miyake-jima Geino Doshi-kai

For the second year in a row, Kodo appeared at Narita Taiko Festival in April alongside Miyake-jima Geino Doshi-kai at the Saturday night performance event, Narita-san Night Drum Concert.
Personally speaking, it was my first time back at Narita Taiko Festival since going along to watch it as a high school student.
Blessed with fine weather, this year we were able to give our performance outside in front of the main hall of Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple.

I didn’t take part in the collaboration at Narita Taiko Festival last year, nor the 2023 Matsurine tour with Miyake-jima Geino Doshikai, so I went in with mixed feelings: worried about getting into the zone they’d created together last year, wondering if I could get in amongst them and run with it. And so excited for what was to come.

But when we got underway, my feelings were blown away by the powerful sound, the incredible people drumming around me, and the audience’s excitement.

I gave myself over to it, drumming with an immense awareness that if I zoned out for even a moment, my presence would disappear amongst all that sound, energy and fervor.
I put everything I had into each and every beat.
It made me really want to see how much I could evolve moving forward when I keep giving it my all like that.

I’m thrilled to shared that Kodo and Miyake-jima Geino Doshi-kai are going to have a concert in my hometown in Kanagawa. It will be on June 2 at Sakae Public Hall in Sakae Ward, Yokohama City.

Last year, I wasn’t a cast member for the Matsurine tour, but Kazuhiro Tsumura from Miyake-jima Geino Doshi-kai heard that I had been taking part in the lunchtime Miyake Taiko practice sessions at Kodo Village. That led to him coaching me one-on-one for Miyake Taiko, and us working on physical maintenance together. He really helped me. Kazuhiro suggested to me that we hold a concert in my hometown, and it’s actually happening!

I have a lot of memories at Sakae Public Hall, from performing there when I was a student with my local taiko group to school choral competitions and other events growing up. I’m really grateful to that place.

I’m really looking forward to returning there to perform with Doshi-kai and my fellow Kodo members, and our sound echoing throughout the hall.

It’s a chance for me to show the place that helped raise me just how much I can put into each beat.
I’m the youngest cast member… I’ll do my best to hold my ground!
I’m really looking forward to welcoming everyone to this performance.

June 2 (Sun), 2024
Kodo × Miyake-jima Geino Doshi-kai Yokohama Performance (Kanagawa Prefecture)


“Announcing a New 0on Digital Release” by Yuta Sumiyoshi

Hi, everyone. It’s been cold here. I hope you’re keeping well.
I’m in Tokyo at Bunkyo Civic Hall for our end-of-year concert series, but I’ve found a gap during this busy week to let you know that I’ve just released a new digital solo album under Kodo’s experimental music label 0on.

We almost had no 0on (zero on, which literally translates as “zero sound”) releases in 2023, so I’m really glad I got this album out in time. Phew! No sound was not the intention.

“Hamon” is available exclusively on bandcamp to stream and buy.

I hope you enjoy it!

Yuta Sumiyoshi’s 2nd Home-Recorded Solo Album “Hamon”

The sounds of shinobue (transverse bamboo flutes), marimba, and an analog drum machine weave together to create original minimal music from diverse polyrhythms.
Feel-good attack coupled with seemingly endless loops of eclectic beats.
All stitched together by shinobue melodies.
Five tracks. All recorded at home. Digital release only.

“On the ferry heading towards Sado Island, I looked over the side of the boat, down into the water.
The hull created ripples as it cut through the sea.
There I saw regularity and randomness, coexisting within continuity.
Each simple repetition, layering over and over again, producing ripple after ripple.
I felt inspired to try to create a world of sound like that.”

“The ‘Matsurine’ Tour Starts Soon” by Kenta Nakagome

Our short tour with Miyake-jima Geino Doshi-kai is about to begin. We’re heading to Hachinohe, Yokohama, Iruma, and Sakura in Tochigi, so if you’re in the area, please come and see us!

Every time Kodo performs with Doshi-kai, we create new pieces and our collaboration evolves. We would love to share our performance with you.

One of the members of Doshi-kai, Kazuhiro Tsumura, trained at Kodo Apprentice Centre with me. We were in the same cohort. Last spring, we created a piece for the two of us to play on stage.

We’ve been honing it through each performance. When I perform with Kazuhiro, it feels like we are breathing in perfect sync. I realized he is a truly one-of-a-kind friend.

It’s been almost 20 years since we first met. Who’d have thought we’d get to tour together like this with our respective groups?

I never imagined it. We have both gained a lot of experience apart, honing our sound and performing over the years. Bringing that together to create new sound and expression has been really fun.

I hope we can perform at each other’s 60th birthday gigs one day.

Our “Matsurine” performance is about upholding traditions and expressing them with creativity and simplicity. We’re bringing this powerful festival to the theater. Don’t miss it!


Tour Schedule

*All links lead to Japanese pages.
Oct. 27 (Fri), 2023 Kodo Appearance “Matsurine 2023” (Hachinohe, Aomori)

Nov. 1 (Wed), 2023 Kodo Appearance “Matsurine 2023” (Yokohama, Kanagawa)

Nov. 4 (Sat), 2023 Kodo Appearance “Matsurine 2023” (Iruma, Saitama)

Nov. 5 (Sun), 2023 Kodo Appearance “Taiko Festival 2023” (Sakura, Tochigi)

“Kodo Taiko School ‘O-daiko Masterclass’ 2024” by Tomohiro Mitome

Hello, everyone! I’m Tomohiro Mitome from Kodo. As well a being a performing member, I’ve recently been named as a Kodo Skills Specialist.
I’m pleased to announce that the online course I led at Kodo Taiko School from January through March this year, O-daiko Masterclass, is going to be offered again during the same period in early 2024.

The course content is split into four phases.
In Phase 1, we work on the fundamentals of fuse-uchi (upright taiko playing).
In Phase 2, we apply those techniques to playing o-daiko (the big drum).
As we progress through Phases 3 and 4, we look at stance, using your body, learning to play set phrases, and bringing it all together as you work towards your own ideal form.

When it comes to taiko, there is a broad range of drumming methods and styles, aesthetics, and schools of thought. At Kodo Taiko School, I would like to share with you one of the ways of playing taiko that Kodo has developed over the years. I want to teach you what I know and hope to invigorate you. I’m also looking forward to learning throughout the course as we all talk and discuss taiko playing.
These online courses enable free-flowing communication, which makes them an opportunity for us all to grow and boost our skills together.


We know some people would like to take part, but they can’t because of the noise involved or their internet setup.
There’s no need to hesitate because you don’t have a drum at home, or somewhere to play one online. During the lessons, you can use a mat or cushion instead of a drum. Please feel free to get creative and make it work for you.
If you like, you’re also welcome to video yourself between lessons, playing the tasks I give you on a taiko drum. If you send me your video, I’ll give you some feedback and advice.


Some of my past class participants came to Sado Island this summer for Earth Celebration. We’d only be in touch online before, and I got to meet them in person at long last.
I also got to teach some of them in person, giving them private lessons playing an actual taiko. I was so happy to see the participants coming together at our festival and to see the progress they are making beyond the course.
To take the course, you do need to have some taiko playing experience already. But you don’t need to speak Japanese: We have an English interpreter for all our lessons.
I hope you’ll take this opportunity to join me and taiko players from around the world online to learn together and expand your own circle of taiko friends.
Who’s in?

The next O-daiko Masterclass starts in January 2024. It’s an 8-class course.
On Saturday November 18, we’re going to have Online Information Sessions. We hope to see you there!

Kodo Taiko School | O-daiko Masterclass with Tomohiro Mitome 2024

“My Composition for the New Kodo Taiko School ‘Body Mechanics for O-daiko Expression’ Course” by Kenta Nakagome

I wanted to share some of my preparation and ideas for the upcoming Kodo Taiko School course I’ll be teaching from April: Body Mechanics for O-daiko Expression with Kenta Nakagome. Applications close very soon, so if you’re planning to take part, please sign up by March 31 (Japan time).

When I started planning this course, we decided I should create an O-daiko piece that everyone can play together. So I’ve been working on that since last year. As I travel the world, I’ve been thinking about the imagery for this piece. I wanted it to be something people who gather from a range of different places could all have in mind as they play, and something that was fun to play together.

I love the sea. When I’m on Sado Island, I’m always looking at the sea.

And when the towns I visit on my travels have a beach or river, that makes me so happy. I feel really good when I think about how the sea and rivers here and there and Sado Island are all connected. When we send the O-daiko to Europe for our tours (I’m in Europe now), we use sea freight. The ship sails across different oceans to foreign lands, far, far away from Sado Island, and I get to play that taiko. It makes me think that the world feels connected by the power of water. When I was reflecting on that, I thought I’d like to try turning water journeys into sound.

Another theme of this upcoming course is the body, which is made up of a lot of water, too.

Water ties people to nature and land.

During this course, the participants will tune into the unique characteristics of their body and channel the sound of a drop of water from somewhere in the world that flows into a river and takes its own journey out into a vast ocean. I’m already excited just thinking about the sound that awaits us based on that idea.

My composition notebook. I add drawings as I explore the imagery.

I’d like to chat with the participants and find a title for this piece together.

I’m creating phrases for the ensemble, and we’ll add a solo part for each person, and tune in to each story as we go.

I warmly welcome participants from far and wide to gather around the 0-daiko with me for some quality time, tuning into our bodies and the sound of taiko together.

Working on the composition at a theater in Europe. I play the phrases over and over, refining my body’s movements and the sound.


Body Mechanics for O-daiko Expression with Kenta Nakagome
Course Dates: Apr. –June 2024
Application Period: Feb. 1 (Thu)–Mar. 31 (Sun), 2024

Body Mechanics for O-daiko Expression with Kenta Nakagome

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