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“Seek, Honor, Hone” by Yuichiro Funabashi


June 11, 2016

“Seek, Honor, Hone”

Hello, everyone. I hope you are all keeping well.

We spent April and May on Sado Island rehearsing for various productions and creating new works with our artistic director. It was a very fruitful period.

Now our “Interactive Performance,” “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos,” and “Premium Concert” tours are well underway. These tours will lead us straight into the “Spirited Summer” performances in Asakusa in July, the 35th Anniversary Concerts and new-look “Earth Celebration” in August, then from September we will tour in Japan with our next One Earth Tour production, “Spiral.” We look forward to seeing everyone nationwide during the months ahead.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

Recently, I went to the Kodo Apprentice Centre for two days as an observer. The first year apprentices had only been there for six weeks. The second years had survived the long winter on Sado and now that there are junior apprentices, they have become the reliable seniors. There are 19 apprentices currently training at the Centre and they are all working very hard.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

I also graduated from the Centre and looking back, I remember that fun days were few and far between. My memories are overwhlemingly of hard days, a hectic schedule, and tough daily routine. Even now, when I drive to the Apprentice Centre, my stomach gets tense as I draw closer to the grounds. But I know now that those tough days while I was an apprentice have formed the core of who I am today.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

While I only visited for two days, I could see how the apprentices are doing and immerse myself in the atmosphere of the Centre. Seeing them, it reminded me that you mustn’t forget your original intentions and goals. I found myself gazing at the words framed on the wall, the former school’s education motto: “Seek, Honor, Hone.”
It made me appreciate once more being surround by people who have a hunger to learn and this environment where we can learn so many things.

Photo: Yasuhiko Ishihara

Kodo Apprentice Centre cultivates the base and heart of the Kodo stage and the Kodo Group. I hope that many people will hear about our Centre and take an interest in the programme. If you would like to visit, or join the programme, please get in touch. Contact details are available on the webpage listed below.

 

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Kodo Apprentice Centre
http://www.kodo.or.jp/apprentice/index_en.html


“‘An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo’ Sado Performance” by Koharu Ido


“An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo” Sado Performance

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

On May 19, we held the opening night of Kodo Premium Concert “An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo” at Amusement Sado.

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto
This is the first time we have given a performance with a commentary by our artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando. He talked about an array of episodes since his first encounter with Kodo, so it was a very interesting new programme.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
I learned a lot by being involved with this dynamic Kodo performance, which depicts the ensemble’s spiral of evolution from the past into the future.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Our performance on Sado had a unique programme* that also featured some pieces from our next new production, “Kodo One Earth Tour: Spiral.” We hope you’ll join us this fall to see “Spiral” on its first tour throughout Japan.

 

*Premium Concert programme will differ in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kagawa, & Kumamoto.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We look forward to seeing you all at a theater somewhere soon!

Photos: Takashi Okamoto
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“Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Spiral” Japan Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160900oet_en.html

[Kodo 35th Anniversary Special Event] Kodo Premium Concert
–An Invitation from Tamasaburo Bando into the World of Kodo–

http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160519kodopremiumconcert_en.html


“Thank You for Coming to Our Performances in Tokyo” by Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga


Thank You for Joining Us at Tokyo University of the Arts for
Kodo Premium Concert

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

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

Numerous artists at the forefront of the performing arts scene in Japan and around the world are Tokyo University of the Arts alumni. At the end of May, we gave three performances at the University’s concert hall, which received an enthusiastic response thanks to the presenter and each audience.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
This performance is accompanied by a commentary in Japanese* by our artistic director, Tamasaburo Bando. He speaks of his relationship with Kodo over the past 16 years and thoughts behind his direction.
Tamasaburo’s commentary is filled with surprising stories and jokes, so we are entertained on stage by his words from start to finish.

*Note: His commentary is in Japanese only, so if you don’t understand Japanese, please let our drumming do all the talking.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

I hope everyone who attends this performance will enjoy the programme as much as we do!

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
We are now in Kyoto performing at Kyoto Theater, which is located inside the Kyoto Station building. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

Photos: Takashi Okamoto

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Kodo Premium Concert

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

June 1 (Wed)–3 (Fri), 2016 Kyoto Theater, Kyoto City

Start:
June 1 (Wed) 11:00, 16:00 (2 performances)
June 2 (Thu) 11:00, 16:00 (2 performances)
June 3 (Fri) 11:00

Note: Commentary will be in Japanese only.

http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/20160601-03b_en.html

 


“‘Talk Saito’ Returns” by Eiichi Saito


“Talk Saito” Returns June 17–19

Hello everyone! How are you?
It’s been hot for a while now in Japan, so I’m sorry to add to the heat with some piping-hot exciting news…

This month I will join Kazuaki Tomida in Tokyo for “Talk Saito 2016″ at Tiara Koto Sho-Hall!

June 17 (Fri): Doors Open 18:30 / Start 19:00
June 18 (Sat): Doors Open 16:30 / Start 17:00
June 19 (Sun): Doors Open 14:30 / Start 15:00

http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160617saito_en.html

Photo: Erika Ueda

The first “Talk Saito” performance was held in the fall of 2003.

It all started when former Kodo member Kazuaki Tomida said “I want to do something fun with you, Eiichi!” We exchanged ideas, then practiced and made our own special duo performance.

It evolved from then into the performances we gave in 2009 and then 2012. This month is our 4th season of “Talk Saito”! And perhaps it will be our grand finale?
This performance is a taiko-meets-comedy show but we are not mucking around. We are both extremely serious about being wholeheartedly foolish for around 2 hours straight.
Please come along and see us live on stage!
One of our alter egos will appear for a lively chat with the audience 15 mins. before each performance, so please come along early enough to take your seat before then. See you there!

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Wadaiko Talk Saito 2016

June 17 (Fri), 18 (Sat), 19 (Sun), 2016 Tiara Koto Sho-Hall, Koto Ward, Tokyo

http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20160617saito_en.html


“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–


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