“A Change of Scene for the Kodo Apprentices” by Eri Uchida

July 26, 2018Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

After their regular training session yesterday afternoon, Kodo Apprentice Centre manager Gan (Yasuhiko Ishihara) took the apprentices to Sobama Beach.
That may sound like fun, but it wasn’t for leisure.

Photo: Yasuhiko IshiharaFirst, the apprentices ran along the sandy beach… and then they ran some more.
Running on sand slowed them down but it gave them a change of scene, with a different view to their training every morning. It feels different for them, too, running barefoot with gentle waves lapping at their feet.

Photo: Eri Uchida

After that, they all danced Onikenbai together, a demon sword dance. You’d expect dancing on sand to also be harder than usual, but dancing on the beach together looked liberating and enjoyable for them.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

They had some free time after their workout and they all took this chance to leap into the sea.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

At the Apprentice Centre, they may experience a lot of difficult challenges and tough times. I guess when you have fun times and happy experiences after such lows, the highs feel even higher.
Seeing them have as much fun as they could during this short break made me think about the spectrum of emotions they experience during the programme.

Photo: Eri UchidaMaybe this setting created that sense of liberation I noted.
Sado truly is an island filled with nature.

I’m glad Kodo is based on Sado. This island helps us grow everyday.


About the Kodo Apprentice Centre

Seeking Apprentices for the Kodo Ensemble Performer Development Course

Applications are now open for the 2019 intake!

[Application Period] July 6 (Fri)–Nov. 9 (Fri), 2018 *Note: Applications must be received by Nov. 9

[Application Procedure] https://www.kodo.or.jp/en/apr_en/research_students

*Please note that all apprentices require advanced Japanese-language skills.

“Michi – The End and the Beginning” by Kodai Yoshida

Photo: Erika UedaOne productions ends, and we head right into the next one. That’s the life of a Kodo member. It’s one endless challenge.

Photo: Erika UedaSomeone once said to me, “Don’t feel secure. There’s someone better than you out there.”

I realized that every time one event finished, I felt a sense of relief.

Somehow, I got really angry when I heard those words.
Angry at myself for knowing that I felt secure and just carried on like that anyway.

Photo: Erika Ueda
I strongly felt the truth in those words when I was on tour with “Michi.”
You can’t afford to rest on your laurels, because the moment you think “I nailed it,” you’ll find another obstacle right in front of you.
The next obstacle is often like a big wall that you can’t see past. So you never know how big the following obstacle will be; all you can do is face the one right in front of you.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Lately, I’ve been spurred on by this kind of insecurity, as I tried to climb up and over each new wall.
Sometimes I’ve had to go back to the start line, sometimes I got knocked down.
One thing is for sure: I’ll keep climbing. I wonder how far I’ll go.

Photo: Erika UedaThat’s up to me, right?
Bring on the next challenge!


Thank you for supporting our two-month “Michi” 2018 Japan Tour!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

“Kodo ‘Michi’ Iwaki Performance” by Shogo Komatsuzaki

Aug. 1, 2018Photo: Erika Ueda

There’s only four performances to go on our “Michi” 2018 tour.
We had a cast change for the second half of the tour to swap over the youngest members. Every day is fulfilling for all of us.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Our physical and mental state is different for each performance.

We have to think about drumming, walking, singing, and standing naturally on stage, which is more difficult and nerve-wracking than meets the eye. We have to make sure our body and mind are in the right condition before the curtain rises each day, so when we take a good look at ourselves, we can say, “I am in good form.”

Photo: Erika Ueda

On stage, each and every one of us has different roots and brings our own unique experience to the performance. We give it all we’ve got, right until the last beat, sharing heart and soul as we play our resounding instruments together.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Today, we have a performance in my hometown, Iwaki.

I moved to Sado Island ten years ago to become a Kodo apprentice.

Rather that trying to say my feelings with a lot of words to the special people in my hometown, I’ll try to say what I want to say through my sound on stage.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

Upcoming “Michi” Performances

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Cast (July-Aug.)

Motofumi Yamaguchi, Eiichi Saito, Tomohiro MitomeKenta NakagomeMaya MinowaShogo KomatsuzakiMasayasu MaedaKodai YoshidaSeita SaegusaYuki HirataChihiro Watanabe, Taiyo Onoda, Shun Takuma

[Kodo Next Generation] “The Time of My Life” by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

Photo: Takuri Susaki

I’m not sure where to start.

It’s difficult to put into words how these past two weeks at the Théâtre du Soleil have been, but simply put, it has been one of the most interesting experiences of my life.

It has been a time of tranquility, but also a time of passion.
A time of exhilaration, but also a time of exasperation.
It was truly a much-needed time of self-meditation, and a time of self-reflection for each and every one of us.

Photo: Takuri Susaki

I’m still having trouble writing down my thoughts.

Photo: Takuri Susaki

One thing that is for sure is that we are truly grateful for all the support and love we receive doing what we do.

Photo: Koji Miyagi

To Ariane Mnouchkine and the wonderful people at the Theatre du Soleil: thank you for bringing us into your home like family. This has truly been an opportunity of a lifetime.

To our families, staff, and supporters all over the world; we are only here because of you. We appreciate all the love and support, and we promise to strive to continue to bring you our very best.

Photo: Takuri Susaki

Once again, thank you to everyone, and we hope we’ll see all of you very soon.

Kodo Next Generation (France)

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

[Kodo Next Generation] “The Tour Finale” by Tomoe Miura

Photo: Takuro SusakiHello, everyone!
Ten days has passed since we arrived in Paris. We’ve enjoyed nice weather and the feel-good breeze that blows through the Bois de Vincennes.

Photo: Takuro Susaki

Many things happen each day that remind me how inexperienced I am, but I know am still very early on in my career. This experience here in Paris is a seed that will grow. I feel determined to do my best in life as a taiko performer. That seed, that drive, I carry them on stage with me to face each new performance.

Photo: Takuro SusakiFor ten days, we have been based at Théâtre du Soleil in the Bois de Vincennes in suburban Paris. Both our accommodations and our performances have been on site.

Photo: Takuro SusakiThe members of the Théâtre make our meals and take good care of us on and off stage. Thanks to them, we can rest assured each day that our daily life and our performances are in great hands.

Photo: Takuro Susaki

Photo: Takuro Susaki

Even if we had a tough day for some reason or other, their delicious meals and their warm smiles always saved the day.

Photo: Takuro Susaki

Thanks to Ariane Mnouchkine, the director of Théâtre du Soleil, and the entire company, we have made it to the day of our finale. Thank you all very much!

Photo: Takashi OkamotoOnly one performance to go. I’ll give 200% again today, right until the very last beat!

Photo: Takuro Susaki

Kodo Next Generation (France)

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

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