In 2011, Kodo will set off on a nationwide tour in search of reunions and new encounters, traveling to all 47 prefectures in Japan. We will visit the supporters and special regions that cheer us on throughout Japan, bringing to the stage both the Kodo everyone has come to know and the Kodo of the future. Prior to the tour, we'd like to tell you about the captivating new performance we are preparing to debut this coming spring.
As we approached the 30th year of Kodo I found myself asking “What is Kodo?" I carefully peeled away the many layers of the various elements that make up our group and decided there are three things without which, there would be no Kodo. The first is “people." These are the people I am surrounded by now – both my seniors and juniors – who give their all playing the drum. The second is “taiko." The third is “Sado Island," home to the people and taiko. Even if we have nothing else, if we have these things, we have Kodo, and that is a powerful thing indeed. It feels like the spirit of an incalculable mass of energy. On our 30th Anniversary One Earth Tour we will concentrate on Kodo's original power. We want the audience to enjoy both the rhythm and intensity of the taiko as well as the joy and beauty of our melodic instruments. We hope to bring moments when the throbbing pulse of Kodo's spirit reverberates the taiko to their core.
Mitsuru Ishizuka, Artistic Director
There are four performers who built the foundations of Kodo and have pulled the group along for many years: Yoshikazu Fujimoto (taiko), Yoko Fujimoto (song), Chieko Kojima (dance), and Motofumi Yamaguchi (bamboo flute). In recent years, their work has been centered on solo activities and special performances, and they have not been seen on the One Earth Tour for some time. However, this milestone year will see them congregate to visit all of Kodo's supporters nationwide on a journey filled with gratitude and reunions. Furthermore, the artistic direction will showcase the core members who shape Kodo today, the young power, and the variety of each generations distinctive characteristics in a programme filled with unique flavors. Join them as the rhythms and melodies fill the theaters across Japan and experience the performance with your whole being.
Our new album Akatsuki is an ambitious work in which young Kodo performers play a central role as they strive to make a Kodo standard for the next generation. The 11 tracks include Stride (composed by Mitsuru Ishizuka), which debuted on tours throughout Japan and Europe last year, and Sora (composed by Shogo Yoshii), which thoroughly enlivened last year's Earth Celebration and December Concert audiences. It also includes Ogi Oiwake, a folk song from Kodo's home, Sado Island, and selected Kodo stage compositions captured in true performance style. Akatsuki is now available at the Kodo Online Store and at Kodo performance venues.
100 years since the birth of Taro Okamato, Kodo, who deeply shares Okamoto's passion towards the arts and the creative world, will express the energy felt throughout one's body and soul when facing the taiko head-on in its latest piece Honoka. This composition will debut on February 26 at Taro Okamoto's birthday event TARO100SAI, and will be performed nationwide from May on the Kodo 30th Anniversary One Earth Tour in Japan. The energy poured into Honoka (meaning fire's flames) will reach its greatest heights at the year-end consecutive performances to be held at Tokyo's Aoyama Theatre.