Kodo was awarded a Community Contribution Award by the Ogi Chamber of Commerce, Sado Island.

The Ogi Chamber of Commerce, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, presented Kodo, the Ogi Culture Promotion Association, and Sanshakudama o Ageru-kai (a group who helps display enormous fireworks) with Community Contribution Awards.

On Sep. 25, Takao Aoki and Atsushi Sugano attended the awards ceremony. Aoki declared, "The Kodo group is truly honored to receive a community services award from the locals in our area. It is something we couldn't have even conceived in the early days of Kodo."

For Kodo members who have been with the group since the early days, it is truly moving to have the local area recognize Kodo like this, just as Aoki said.

From the days of Sado no Kuni Ondekoza to the birth of Kodo and the years that followed, most people on Sado looked at our group as "a strange troupe who ran marathons and played taiko." It is, after all, the natural way to see a group of young people who appear to be unemployed, with a limited number of sympathizers and friends, who lives in an abandoned school building and doesn't watch TV or read newspapers.

Since our group moved to Ogi in 1988, our exchange with the community increased, activated by events like Earth Celebration and the Ogi Festival. For Earth Celebration, at first there were various aspects that were difficult for the locals to comprehend. However, the people in the town helped us out on all fronts, and it's thanks to them that we have been able to continue holding the festival year after year.

This year was the 24th EC, which means that almost half of the Ogi Chamber of Commerce's history was spent working with Kodo.

Kodo is deeply appreciative of the understanding and cooperation of the local community, and as a group we hope to further contribute to the Sado Island community and broaden the horizons of our activities here on the island.