“Excited to Share ‘Michi’ with You!” by Yuichiro Funabashi

It’s April and in Japan that means the start of a new business and school year. I’m sure many of you have had a fresh start in a new environment this month.

We’ve recently finished our North America “Evolution” tour and Interactive Performances in Japan and returned to Sado Island. Right now, we are busy preparing for our upcoming tours and concerts this spring, as well as future works.

From May, we’re going to be touring with “Kodo One Earth Tour 2019: Michi” throughout Japan for the rest of the year.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

It’s going to be a soul-stirring, invigorating two-hour program featuring Kodo standards such as Monochrome, Miyake, O-daiko, and Yatai-bayashi. As director, I’ve also included some of my favorite classics like The Hunted and HITOTSU, and we’ve created some brand new numbers, too!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We’ve reworked and refined the content since last year, and we are already looking forward to seeing it evolve with each performance on tour.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

The cast ranges from senior to junior Kodo members who all bring their own unique sound and energy to the stage. I really hope you’ll come along to see “Michi” at one of the many theaters on our tour to experience this rousing program firsthand.

Photo: Erika Ueda

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2019: Michi” Japan Tour

Schedule

“Uniqueness” by Shun Takuma

This tour, is actually my first time overseas. As a foreigner abroad I am relishing all the fresh experiences. Observing people, walking in the different cities and trying the local food. Yet at the same time there are moments of homesickness for Japan.

 

European audience responses varies from country to country. In some places the emotions are freely expressed, elsewhere there is more reserve (rather like myself.) This clear difference of response from place to place is one of the unique pleasures of touring – seeing these contrasts back to back.

 

Strangely, it feels as if the difference between the reactions makes the actual content of “Legacy” look like a different show every time. Is the same show experienced differently, or is each show a different experience? Frankly, I have no need to answer my own question. I am just loving touring. All that has already happened and all that is still to come.

 

 

 

 

Where is Kodo performing next? (March 7, 2020)

 

“Taiko Warabe Goju-nen”: Yoshikazu Fujimoto Performance Career 50th Anniversary Concert” by Yuichiro Funabashi

Hi everyone! How are you?

As you probably already know, Kodo’s last performance this year will be “Taiko Warabe Goju-nen,” a special concert commemorating Yoshikazu Fujimoto‘s 50th milestone year as a performer.

Photo: Erika Ueda

The other day, we had rehearsals at Kodo Village and Yoshikazu showed all the junior members (which in this case means everyone!) his body and soul approach in practice.

“Your passion shows on your face AND your back.”

Photo: Erika Ueda

When I heard him say that, I felt the weight of those fifty years in his embodiment of those words.

For this performance, we will welcome Iwasaki Onikenbai Hozonkai (Iwasaki Demon Sword Dance Preservation Society), who have taught Yoshikazu Fujimoto and Kodo for many years, and Wachi Daiko Hozonkai (Wachi Taiko Preservation Society) from Yoshikazu’s hometown, Wachi, where his taiko journey began. Kodo will be there right alongside these special guests and Yoshikazu, giving our all to celebrate our most senior member.

I am really looking forward to this performance!

Photo: Erika Ueda

Kodo’s latest production MEGURU will be on stage at Bunkyo Civic Hall until Dec. 23, the day before “Taiko Warabe Goju-nen” on Christmas Eve.
I really hope you’ll take this opportunity to see Kodo’s depth and breadth as an ensemble through both of these distinct concert programs.

As I said in my New-Year greeting for 2018:
“(Yoshikazu Fujimoto) is a man who has stood apart as a pioneer in performing arts and remains in a class of his own. Watching over and raising the next generation is very important, and we have learned the magnificence of undertaking these tasks ourselves by observing many performing arts. As we celebrate the career of our group’s most senior member, we would like to express our gratitude for Kodo’s ability to carry out a wide range of activities each year. The Kodo Group looks forward to congratulating Yoshikazu along with the entire audience who gathers for this auspicious event.”

Photo: Erika Ueda

 

“Taiko Warabe Goju-nen”: Yoshikazu Fujimoto Performance Career 50th Anniversary Concert
Dec 24 (Mon), 2018 Bunkyo Civic Hall Main Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo

“Taiko Warabe Goju-nen” (Child of the Drum for 50 Years): Yoshikazu Fujimoto Performance Career 50th Anniversary Concert (Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo)


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