In January, a fellow Niigata-based artist, Jo Kanamori, gave me his new book, Dance Company of Struggles. Mr. Kanamori is a dancer and the artistic director of Noism Company Niigata and this is his first book. I read it with great interest. Then in February, I went to see Noism’s new production, Der Wanderer. Mr. Kanamori’s artistic direction is always exciting. This time, he really brought the physicality of each and every cast member to the forefront while creating a sense of unity within the cast led by dancer Sawako Iseki. It was a wonderful performance. Having just read Mr. Kanamori’s book, I could feel even more color and depth as I watched them perform. That really stayed with me. This experience made me think a lot about the importance of recording our words.
Melanie Taylor, a member of our team who handles our English translation, has launched a project to share the book that Kodo published in 2011, Inochi Moyashite, Tatakeyo, with the world. This book describes Kodo’s history in a straightforward manner from various perspectives. For me, it’s an important book that I read over and over again as things crop up along our journey.
Melanie has been watching Kodo perform for years and years. She carefully weaves my words into English, bringing the true meaning of each word into her translation by checking the background and my intention. She is a trustworthy friend of mine, and I am sincerely looking forward to seeing her translation of this book take shape. I sincerely hope that many people will feel more depth and color when they watch Kodo’s performances after reading this book.
Over ten years have already passed since we published this book and I strongly feel the need to start preparing to publish the sequel—the next part of our history. For now, I am grateful that Melanie has kicked off this project to translate our first book. I really hope that many people will support this project.
Incidentally, in my Japanese profile it says my hobbies include reading and enjoying pro wrestling, Rakugo storytelling, and Takarazuka theatrical performances. I have a lot of books about my various interests, lining my bookshelves. When I learn all sorts of things about each group and each person, and their history and background, my feelings intensify and my enjoyment doubles.
Kodo Ensemble Leader
■ Kodo Book Translation Project “Drum Your Heart Out” Crowdfunding Campaign on PledgeMe
This site’s currency is New Zealand dollars.
■ Kodo Book Translation Project “Drum Your Heart Out” Intro Video
The campaign video is fully subtitled in English and Japanese. If subtitles don’t appear, click the settings cog on YouTube and switch them on.