Jan. 1, 2024
New Year’s Greeting from Kodo Ensemble Leader Yuichiro Funabashi
I wish you all a very happy new year.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone who offered us their support throughout the past year. Thank you very, very much.
Last year, we toured in the USA and Canada with “Kodo One Earth Tour: Tsuzumi” and China with “Kodo One Earth Tour: Warabe,” returning to these countries for the first time in four years. Here in Japan, we toured with main stage productions “Calling,” “Shoso,” and “Cycles,” as well as our School Workshop Performance tours. We also held three concert series here on Sado in the spring, summer, and autumn. We enjoyed a wide range of thrilling collaborations, which included: “Yugen” with Kabuki actor Tamasaburo Bando, “Oni” with Niigata dance company Noism, “Hatsune Miku x Kodo” with vocaloid Hatsune Miku, and our long-awaited reunion concert with The Voices of South Africa on the main stage at Earth Celebration 2023. The list goes on. It sure was an action-packed year of performances.
In 2023, many of the Kodo concerts that were postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic were able to go ahead at long last. The year was filled with joyous reunions with collaborators and audiences, and feeling of profound gratitude as we shared the sound of our taiko with more people in person.
We’ll begin 2024 with our “Warabe” Europe Tour during the winter months. From spring, we’ll perform throughout Japan with our One Earth Tour and School Workshop Performances, followed by the premiere of “Evermore,” a new work we will present exclusively at Asakusa Public Hall. At the end of this year, we are excited to share another new touring production with you all. At home on Sado Island, we look forward to welcoming locals and visitors to our Special Performances in Shukunegi in spring, and our annual festival Earth Celebration in summer. We will also hold the Kodo Summer Concerts and Autumn Concerts that we launched in 2023, hoping to share more of the charms of Sado Island with everyone who comes along.
With the chaos of wars and the impact of climate change, it is difficult to predict what lies ahead. But I promise we will keep striving to foster a world where myriad cultures and ways of life resonate with one another. Kodo will remain dedicated to its mission to connect people, traveling the globe with taiko under the banner “One Earth.”
I sincerely hope that the year ahead is a great one for all of you.
2024 is the Year of the Wood Dragon, and we’ll do our very best to make it a year of great growth.
I kindly ask for your continued guidance and encouragement.
Kodo Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble