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!

“Spending Time with Young American Taiko Players” by Yuki Hirata

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

I met three sixteen-year-old taiko players who were born and raised in the USA.

They first encountered taiko through a community group when they were in elementary school.
They love taiko and all still play.

These young US taiko players were so interested to meet taiko players from Japan.
They asked us questions like:

“When and how did you get into playing taiko?”
“What kind of practice do you do?”
“Do you compose songs?”
“The way you use your body to play frisbee is similar to how you use it to play taiko, don’t you think? (This one was from a frisbee player)

Photo: Yui KamiyaAt our exchange event

Most of our one and a half hour chat was a barrage of questions from them.

When I had the chance, I asked them, “What is it about taiko that you like?”
One of them answered, “The sound of our taiko makes the audience smile and feel happy. How cool is that? That makes me really happy. Also, I like the vibrations you feel in your body when you play.”

Then the three of them said, “Most of all, playing taiko is fun!”

Seeing them talking happily about taiko with a sparkle in their eyes reminded me that all taiko players have something important in common: that feeling of enjoyment when we play.
Taiko is fun!

Photo: Koji MiyagiWorkshop in Boulder, Colorado

The appeal of taiko has reached places far away from Japan.
In completely different environments, taiko players around the world are hooked on the same instruments as us.
We’re all crazy about taiko.

Photo: Yui KamiyaAt an exchange event

The taiko community is expanding around the world.
Let’s connect more and more, and make the good vibrations of taiko reach further and further.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto


“Kodo One Earth Tour 2019: Evolution” North America Tour

“A Visit to the Chappa Makers” by Yuki Hirata

The chappa (cymbals) that Kodo uses on stage are an original design that emerged from a collaboration between craftsmen and Kodo performers. Both parties honed the cymbals through trial and error, paying careful attention to details such as the materials, thickness, shape, and rings.

The other day, we paid a visit to these chappa craftsmen.

When we arrived at their workshop, we found them hard at work.
They shape each round flat metal plate into a precious cymbal by hand, one at a time.

One of the processes they use is metal spinning, where they spin the metal and press down on it firmly with a rod to shape it. This technique allows them to process the metal so there is no unevenness in the thickness of the plate.

Once the metal is shaped, they take it to their polishing workshop. They beautifully polish the cymbal, then attach a seamless metal ring, which is carved from a metal rod. Then the cymbal is ready for the Kodo stage, or for sale to the public.

When I met the craftsmen in person, I really felt their enthusiasm.

I felt the same enthusiasm and energy we have as performers, both when we create a performance and when we play taiko.

It’s all about making something good.
Doing the best work you can do.
Thinking about how to make something even better this time around.
Doing a better job.

When the craftsmen saw us off, they said, “We’ll keep doing our best, too.”

Photo: Erika Ueda

This visit to the cymbal workshop made us vow to do our very best to create good sound with the chappa.
We’ll keep doing our very best, just like the craftsmen.


Kodo Online Store in English | Chappa (Cymbals) 5 [go]-sun size

“Hatsune Miku x Kodo Rehearsals on Sado” by Yuki Hirata

Photo: Erika Ueda

Recently we had rehearsals at Kodo Village for the upcoming “Hatsune Miku x Kodo Special Live Performance 2018” on June 2 & 3 at Shibuya’s NHK Hall.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika UedaHatsune Miku band members and staff came to Sado Island for two days. The energy that filled the hall as we rehearsed felt as if it was a actual performance.

Photo: Erika Ueda

These practices strongly bonded Hatsune Miku, her band, Kodo, and the team of staff. Our sense of unity has increased since last year, something you’re sure to notice when you see us on stage together.

Photo: Erika UedaPhoto: Erika Ueda

I really want you all to experience this energy! You can all look forward to a lot of new pieces on the lineup this time!

By the way, last year I made my debut on the Kodo stage at “Hatsune Miku x Kodo,” so it was an especially memorable performance for me. I am so excited for this year’s collaboration, too. I simply can’t wait.

Please join us for the next stage of Hatsune Miku and Kodo’s collaborative journey!

Photo: Erika Ueda

See here for tickets! (Japanese website)

Hatsune Miku x Kodo Official Website (Japanese website)

This is NIPPON Premium Theater “Hatsune Miku x Kodo Special Live Performance 2018”

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