My Kodo Discography Pick 01 | Mitsuru Ishizuka: Akatsuki (Album) and Honoka (DVD)

In the lead up to Kodo’s 40th anniversary in 2021, we looked back over the many works our group has released to date. Each Kodo member will introduce their personal pick (or picks) in this blog series over the weeks ahead.

Mitsuru Ishizuka 

I recommend Kodo’s Akatsuki album and Honoka DVD!

Both of these were recorded in 2010–2011 as special works to commemorate Kodo’s 30th anniversary.

I remember that time as a really tough one.

The entire Kodo ensemble seemed to feel bound by the invisible shackles of its 30 years of history, which had an indescribable oppressiveness on us. And in early 2011, the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami struck. So it was also a period which made us question our reason for doing what we do.

At that complex time, I think each Kodo member was hanging in there, struggling to make it through by focusing on the fundamentals: taiko, their own playing, and the people waiting for Kodo’s tours and concerts.

That led to the emergence of an array of really simple, bold, powerful compositions, which were captured in these recordings.

Akatsuki and Honoka are both works that might feel rather rough, raw, and more rugged that Kodo’s previous works… I think that’s due to an overflow of all the energy we poured in. Our struggles added to our power, so I think that made the works interesting and well worth a listen. (lol)

I hope you’ll enjoy my picks!

Album | Akatsuki

↓Listen to sample tracks

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

DVD | Honoka

↓Watch trailer

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

My Kodo Discography Pick 03 | Yuki Hirata: Tsutsumi and Warabe (Albums)

Yuki Hirata

Back when I was in elementary school, I went to sleep each night and woke up each morning listening to these two albums: tsutsumi and warabe.

That’s because I played them as I drifted off to sleep, and then played them again as soon as I woke up the next morning. (lol)

I seem to recall particularly liking the track Itsuka Mata

These albums were released simultaneously, but the way they were recorded is different.

tsutsumi was recorded in a concert hall using one-point recording, which captured the groove and power of a live performance.
warabe was recorded in a studio, so you can enjoy the subtleties of sound crafted in that environment.

The piece I liked as a child, Itsuka Mata, is featured on both albums. So I think it’s fun to listen to and compare the two versions.


I don’t think it’s an exaggeration for me to say that I was brought up by these two albums. They brainwashed me (lol), telling me over and over to “Join Kodo!”

I hope you’ll listen to both of them!

Album | tsutsumi

↓Listen to sample tracks

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

Album | warabe


↓Listen to sample tracks

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store (Japanese)
*English store listing coming soon!

My Kodo Discography Pick 10 | Seita Saegusa: Heartbeat Best of KODO 25th Anniversary (Album)

Seita Saegusa

During my apprenticeship, I would listen to the recording of Chonlima from this compilation when I practiced.

I was determined to bridge the gap between my practice version and the version on this CD.  

The tempo, the nuances of the sound…

Come to think of it, I also practiced while listening to Miyake over and over.

When I listen to this CD, I think back to my apprentice days when I was training to become a member. I remember how hard I was practicing to sharpen my senses, what I had my sights set on, and how I was feeling.

This is an important collection to me, for now and for the future.

Album | Heartbeat—Best of Kodo 25th Anniversary

↓Listen to sample tracks

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

My Kodo Discography Pick 11 | Kei Sadanari: Honoka (DVD)

Kei Sadanari

My DVD recommendation is ”Honoka.”

When I was in junior high school, Kodo came to my hometown for their Interactive Performances, and I performed with them. It was back then when I was given this “Honoka” DVD. It was my first time watching a Kodo performance, and I was greatly moved.

Especially by the very first track, Honoka.

I remember getting goosebumps even just watching it on video, and turning the TV up as loud as it would go.

Last year, we performed Honoka at the Interactive Performances and I was so excited that I couldn’t stop smiling.

DVD | Honoka

↓Watch trailer

↓Buy at Kodo Online Store

My Kodo Discography Pick 14 | Koki Miura: warabe (Album)

Koki Miura

My recommendation is “Warabe.”
My seniors in my high school taiko club played Itsuka Mata (Until Next Time) and I thought it was a great song.
Then I found out it was on a CD, so I bought “Warabe.”

I started listening to it over and over every day.
The flow of tracks starting with Yokigen (Mirthful Mood), then Bird Island, Koro Koro (Round and Round), and leading in to Itsuka Mata (Until Next Time) is amazing.

おすすめ!私の一枚(13)三浦康暉 / CD『童 warabe』
Even today, listening to this CD gets me excited.
It shows that great music is timeless.

Album | warabe

↓Listen to sample tracks

Buy at Kodo Online Store

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