鼓童ブログ Kodo Blog

“A Wonderful Sight in Asakusa” by Naomi Iseki


Last week Asakusa in Tokyo held its annual festival, Sanja Matsuri. This week the area is back to normal… which for Asakusa means bustling with tourists!

From the day after the festival, I was greeted by this wonderful sight all along the main street through Asakusa, Kaminarimon-dori.

Photo: Naomi Iseki

A big thank you to the Asakusa Shopping Street Promotion Association for these banners! We are always so happy to receive such great support from the people of Asakusa.

Kodo can feel this warm circle of support growing every year.

Photo: Naomi Iseki
This year, we will present a brand new production in Asakusa called “Spirited Summer,” which will be performed exclusively here. I really hope many people will join us in Asakusa for these performances in July. Of course, we hope you’ll make a day of it and have a great time visiting Asakusa.


▼ [Don't Miss Out! Last Tickets Now on Sale!] Kodo Special Performance in Asakusa “Spirited Summer”

July 1 (Fri)–3 (Sun), 2016 Asakusa Public Hall, Taito Ward, Tokyo

Start:
July 1 (Fri) 15:00
July 2 (Sat) 11:00 / 15:00 (2 performances)
July 3 (Sun) 11:00 / 15:00 (2 performances)
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160701asakusa_en.html

Ticket Outlets:


“A Moving Trip of Firsts” by Issei Kohira


May 16, 2016

A Moving Trip of Firsts

Hello, everyone. I am Issei Kohira, a new Kodo junior member. Nice to meet you all.
From May 10 through 15, I went to Singapore with Kodo.

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It was my first time performing overseas with Kodo! Actually, it was also my first time to ever travel abroad!

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I was a little anxious as I left Japan for the first time and took the six-hour flight to Singapore. As soon as we arrived, along with the humidity I felt the cheerful warmth of Singapore surround me and my worries quickly disappeared.

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Soon after arriving, we went to the rehearsal studio of the local taiko group, Hibikiya, who invited us to Singapore. Then we visited the concert venue.

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The waterfront venue, Esplanade, has an outdoor stage and the “backdrop” features some of Singapore’s iconic tourist spots: the Merlion and the Marina Bay Sands. There was also a mall there that was bustling with people enjoying meals and shopping. So just being there was fun.

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Kodo went to Singapore for a collaboration with Hibikiya, which has so many members and they are so passionate about playing taiko. Their performances also incorporate bamboo flutes and shamisen (Japanese banjo) and they often invite instructors to their group from Japan to give workshops. I was really moved by their attitude towards taiko.

During their performance, I watched them from behind the stage. They were so lively as they performed and I could feel their love for taiko. Their passion struck my heart and it was uplifting.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto
Meanwhile, when I reflect on my own performance, I have many things to work on as an inexperienced newcomer. It took all my might to try and keep up with the Distinguished Members and senior Kodo members. However, every single move they made taught me, and supported me, so I was able to give the best performance of my current capabilities and strength. During my first performance abroad, I learned where to position myself on the Kodo stage.

Leaving Japan for the first time and traveling overseas, I met people who love taiko and I learned that in only four days we could create such strong bonds, connected through the power of taiko.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto
Now that I have returned to Japan, I sincerely hope these these bonds won’t fade and I am praying that we will all meet again somewhere.

I hope that this experience, full of firsts for me, will help me to grow even more.

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Next up, I will appear in “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos.” This will be my first domestic tour with Kodo. I will be the youngest on this tour and I will perform with all of my might on stage throughout Japan.
I am raring to go!!!

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[TV Broadcast] Upcoming Kodo Appearances on AKB48 Nemousu TV


Upcoming Kodo Appearances on AKB48 Nemousu TV

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Recently Kodo was given the opportunity to help Niigata’s new girl group “NGT48″ with team building by hosting them for an intensive taiko camp. This story will be broadcasted as a three-part documentary on CS Family Theater’s “AKB48 Nemousu TV.” If you are subscribed to this Japanese cable channel, please tune in to see how the girls get on playing taiko together following the lead of their passionate facilitator, Kodo’s Eiichi Saito. The programme will air on Sundays for three weeks in a row from May 22 (Sun).


Programme Title: AKB48 Nemousu TV

About Programme: Documentaries showing AKB48 as they follow orders from unique instructors in various settings.
Broadcast Dates & Times Featuring Kodo: May 22 , May 29, June 5 (Sun) 18:00–18:30
Programme Website: http://www.fami-geki.com/nemousu22/
*This programme is only available to CS Family Theater cable channel subscribers.

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NGT48 Go to Taiko Camp on Sado Island

This documentary features NGT48, the Niigata sister-group of Tokyo’s AKB48, which debuted in Jan. 2016. Like any new group, they face many challenges with group dynamics. This programme sends the NGT48 members off to a taiko camp with Kodo’s Eiichi Saito for a special live-in, team-building experience. Tune in to see what effect taiko and Saito’s passion have on the group. This three-part documentary will span three consecutive Sundays. We hope you’ll tune in!

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Photo from AKB48 Nemousu TV website


“A Taste of Vietnam at EC 2016″ by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga


 A Taste of Vietnam at Earth Celebration 2016

 

Hello, everyone. I hope you are all keeping well.
On Sado we have been rehearsing for various new productions every day. Preparations are also underway for this year’s Earth Celebration (EC).
For EC 2016, we have invited guest artists from Vietnam to join us for a concert at Kodo Village. I went to Vietnam in February on a field trip to prepare for this collaboration.

When we arrived in Hanoi, it was right around Lunar New Year.

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

It was bright and festive, with lanterns and Vietnamese flags everywhere.

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

We tried a range of local cuisine,

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

walked throughout the city,

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

and enjoyed exchange with an array of local artists.

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

We delighted in the various similarities and differences between our cultures.

Photo: Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga

Immersed in the local atmosphere, the week just flew by as we enjoyed local food and local music.

This trip reminded me of the importance of international exchange, visiting new places, and experiencing other cultures firsthand with local people.

I hope our Kodo Village Concert at EC 2016 will be an opportunity for us to recreate and share a taste with our audience of the local atmosphere and culture that we experienced in Vietnam.
EC 2016 has other unique performances by Kodo members on the lineup, too.
We look forward to seeing everyone on Sado Island this August for EC!

 

Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga
“EC 2016 Kodo Village Concert” Assistant Director

 

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Earth Celebration 2016
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160826ec_en.html

*Details about EC 2016 will be announced in English in late May. Tickets go on sale from June 20.


“Our Sado Performance Tomorrow” by Yuta Sumiyoshi


Performance on Sado Island on May 19th!

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On May 19, we will perform a new piece that I composed, which will feature in “Kodo One Earth Tour: Spiral” from September. This is a special addition to the Sado Premium Concert that will not be included in the other Premium Concerts. So don’t miss it! Please come along!

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[Kodo 35th Anniversary Special Event] Kodo Premium Concert

–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–

May 19 (Thu), 2016 Amusement Sado, Sado Island, Niigata

Doors Open: 18:00 / Start: 18:30
Tickets: SS-seats 5,000 yen, S-seat 4,500 yen *Elementary to high school students receive 2,000 yen back at the door.
Seating Details: All seats reserved. Please refrain from bringing preschoolers (ages 5 & under).
Ticket Outlets: Amusement Sado Tel. 0259-52-2001 (Tue–Fri, 9:00–17:00, tickets must be collected at Amusement Sado), Kodo Ticket Service Tel. 0259-86-2330 (Mon–Fri, 9:30–17:00)
Sado Performance Details: http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/20160519b_en.html


“Only Two Days until our Sado Performance” by Kenta Nakagome


Sado Performance on May 19th!

Photo: Erika Ueda

In two days, we will present our debut Kodo Premium Concert here on Sado Island, “–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–.”

Our stage rehearsals are well under way.
We hope to see you at the theater on May 19th!

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There will be a chance for you to play taiko at the venue, too!

 

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[Kodo 35th Anniversary Special Event] Kodo Premium Concert

–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–

May 19 (Thu), 2016 Amusement Sado, Sado Island, Niigata

Doors Open: 18:00 / Start: 18:30
Tickets: SS-seats 5,000 yen, S-seat 4,500 yen *Elementary to high school students receive 2,000 yen back at the door.
Seating Details: All seats reserved. Please refrain from bringing preschoolers (ages 5 & under).
Ticket Outlets: Amusement Sado Tel. 0259-52-2001 (Tue–Fri, 9:00–17:00, tickets must be collected at Amusement Sado), Kodo Ticket Service Tel. 0259-86-2330 (Mon–Fri, 9:30–17:00)
Sado Performance Details: http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/20160519b_en.html


▼Further performances will be held in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kagawa, & Kumamoto

[Kodo 35th Anniversary Special Event] Kodo Premium Concert

–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–


“Glistening Rice Paddies in May” by Yuichiro Funabashi


May 10, 2016

Firstly, I would like to offer my condolences to the people of Kumamoto who have been suffering the effects of the damaging earthquakes last month and continual tremors ever since. I sincerely hope that the earth will settle right away and that their situation will improve very soon. Stories of the damage from friends and family in the Kyushu region have made us think hard about what we can do to cheer them on. By touring there as planned in the months ahead and sharing the sound of our taiko, we hope to encourage them as the recover from this natural disaster.

Photo: Erika Ueda

On Sado, it’s the season for planting rice. The paddies harden during the cold winter and when spring arrives, the earth is warmed and nourished by the sun. Then, when the time comes, the paddies are flooded with water to plant the rice. The glistening rice paddies make for such beautiful scenery. As I mentioned in my last post, this month we are rehearsing for productions for next month, later this year, and even next year. Honestly, we don’t have a lot of time during this rehearsal period to gaze at the scenery, but we all enjoy the glimpses of the beautiful rice paddies that we catch on our way to work each day.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Rehearsals with Noh master Mr. Reijiro Tsumura

 

One of the new productions that we are creating is called “Yugen”*, which will premiere in spring next year. The concept for this work is based on classical Japanese arts such as Noh theater. The creation process is moving along very, very slowly and with intensity, like a Noh actor moves on stage. So at the end of a rehearsal session, there is a unanimous sigh from the cast as we switch off our intense focus. We can already feel a sense of fulfilment from creating a truly unique new work. Each day we are learning and discovering new things from the classics of Japanese culture.

*English title TBA

Photo: Erika Ueda

Also, the cast for “Spirited Summer” are rehearsing with dedication for their July performances in Asakusa. The programme features pieces that were part of Kodo’s repertoire when our ensemble was founded. The young Kodo members are learning the pieces by focusing on the heart of the fundamentals, which requires many hours of practice from early in the morning until late at night.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

This spring, we have also welcomed many guests to Kodo Village for rehearsals in preparation for our 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concerts in Tokyo this August.

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This spring was our fifth year to hold Kodo performances in Shukunegi, here on Sado Island. The concerts during Golden Week were held at the newly renovated Shukunegi Community Hall. We presented a programme directed by Tomohiro Mitome and we thank all the people who came along to see the performances.

Photo: Erika Ueda

Kodo continues to work on a wide range of activities. Like the beautiful, glistening rice paddies, our ensemble has a firm base, but in order to grow each year we need to continually absorb many different elements.

Everyday, we are tackling new challenges head on and we hope to share signs of growth with you all at our upcoming performances.

 

Yuichiro Funabashi
Ensemble Leader
Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble KODO

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“Looking Forward to Continued Connections” by Kosuke Urushikubo


Kodo Debut Performance in Singapore Today

Photo: Kosuke UrushikuboPhoto: Kosuke Urushikubo


Hello, everyone! How are you? I’m in Singapore right now with a select Kodo ensemble. We will perform tonight at the opening of “Super Japan,” a festival commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan. (The photo above is from our rehearsal.)

Photos: Kosuke Urushikubo
We will perform tonight full of hope that the relationship between our two countries will continue for many years to come. This event will mark Kodo’s debut performance in Singapore. We are so happy to have the opportunity to take part in this celebration.

Photo: Kosuke UrushikuboPhoto: Kosuke Urushikubo

At the opening event, we will perform with a local taiko group called Hibikiya. We are thoroughly enjoying our time with them. We also hope that Kodo & Hibikiya’s relationship will continue for many years to come!

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We will do our very best on stage tonight.

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Super Japan: KODO x HIBIKIYA

May 13 (Fri), 2016 Esplanade- Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160513singapore_en.html

Appearing:Kodo (Yoshikazu FujimotoChieko KojimaMotofumi YamaguchiEiichi SaitoTomohiro MitomeKosuke Urushikubo, Issei Kohira), Hibikiya


“Concert in My Hometown on May 14″ by Koki Miura


Concert in Yachiyo City, My Hometown

Photo: Ryoko Iwamoto

Last year I returned to my hometown, Yachiyo City in Chiba, with “Kodo One Earth Tour: Eternity.” This week, I am heading home again with Kodo for an Interactive Performance on May 14. I am really happy to have these opportunities to perform in my hometown.

Photo: Ryoko Iwamoto

I will play the big drum (O-daiko) with all my might!

news20160514koryuKodo Interactive Performance

 

May 14 (Sat), 2016 Yachiyo-shi Shimin Kaikan, Yachiyo, Chiba http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160514koryu_en.html


“Rehearsals with Blue Tokyo & Dazzle for –Hisho– (Soaring)” by Shogo Komatsuzaki


Kodo 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concert
Rehearsals for –Hisho– (Soaring) with Blue Tokyo & Dazzle

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We held rehearsals at Kodo Village with guest artists Blue Tokyo & Dazzle for the third day finale of our upcoming Kodo 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concerts, a collaboration entitled –Hisho– (Soaring).

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We performed with both Blue Tokyo and Dazzle at “Earth Celebration 2014,” so we are looking forward to taking the stage with these two groups this August again.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Reunited on Sado Island after almost two years, we spent three exciting days rehearsing together. Our three groups have clearly forged a deep bond since 2014 and each day our sound and movements melded together, becoming one. It is hard to describe the feel-good sensation of rehearsing with these ensembles.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We see them dance as we play taiko, they hear our drums as they dance. We are really excited to see what kind of “chemical reaction” the sound of our taiko and their dynamic physical expression will create on stage at Suntory Hall this summer.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

I hope you will come along to join us for the finale of our Suntory Hall concerts celebrating Kodo’s 35th Anniversary. We look forward to seeing the energy created on stage leap, fly, and soar.


Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

▲Rehearsals with director Tamasaburo Bando

See you at Suntory Hall in Tokyo on Aug. 20!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

▲The Kodo members with Dazzle, Blue Tokyo, and artistic director Tamasaburo Bando after our rehearsals.

Photos: Takashi Okamoto
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news20160818kodo35thKodo 35th Anniversary Commemorative Concerts
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20150917kodo35th_en.html

Aug. 18 (Thu), 19 (Fri), 20 (Sat), 2016 Suntory Hall, Tokyo

Aug. 18 (Thu) First Night ‒Deai‒ (Encounters)
Featuring: Kodo, New Japan Philharmonic / Conductor: Tatsuya Shimono
Aug. 19 (Fri) Second Night ‒Spiral‒
Director: Tamasaburo Bando / Featuring: Kodo
Aug. 20 (Sat) Third Night ‒Hisho‒ (Soaring)
Director: Tamasaburo Bando / Featuring: Kodo with guest artists Blue Tokyo & Dazzle

Ticket Outlets:

  • Ticket Space Tel. 03-3234-9999 (Mon–Sat 10:00–12:00, 13:00–18:00)
  • Suntory Hall Ticket Center Tel. 0570-55-0017
  • Ticket Pia Tel. 0570-02-9999 [P-code: 286-898] http://pia.jp/
  • e+ (e plus) http://eplus.jp/
  • Lawson Ticket Tel. 0570-000-407 (Operator 10:00–20:00) Tel. 0570-084-003 [L-code: 30118] http://l-tike.com/
  • Seven Ticket http://7ticket.jp/ Tickets available from multi-copy machines at Seven Eleven stores nationwide.
  • Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Ticket Service Tel. 03-5685-0650

Suntory Hall 30th Anniversary Commemorative Event Sponsors: Suntory Beer LimitedOnkyo & Pioneer Innovations CorporationPOLA INC.

 


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