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“Getting Ready for the ‘Mystery’ Europe Tour” by Tomoe Miura

2016-01-23 15.17.14
The “Mystery” Europe Tour is about to begin.

I had just graduated from the Kodo Apprentice Centre when I took part in the previous Mystery tour in North America. I didn’t know which way was up on my first tour and everyone else helped me so much. This time I will be able to focus even more on my performance and I want to show just how much I have grown as a performer over the past year on stage.

2016-01-23 16.15.20-1

We will visit ten countries with different cuisine, culture, people… I wonder what kind of countries await me? I am excited to think about every day of the tour. My goal for this tour is to grow as a person.

I will perform with all my might, and with my heart, for everyone awaiting us in Europe and Russia.



20150127oetJan.–Mar. 2016 “Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Mystery” Europe Tour

Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Russia


“‘Mystery’ Sets off for Europe!” by Yui Kawamoto

“Mystery” Sets off for Europe!


As a “once-in-a-decade” blizzard passes by here on Sado Island, the cast and staff for “Mystery” have set off on tour!

This two-month Europe tour will consist of 32 performances in 10 countries.

Please come and experience the world of “Mystery” with Kodo in the unique European atmosphere. You won’t want to miss this production!

Farewell, everyone! And good luck!

Bon voyage!

20150127oetJan.–Mar. 2016 “Kodo One Earth Tour 2016: Mystery” Europe Tour

Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Russia


“‘Chaos’ Finale in Tokyo” by Maya Minowa

Thank You for Attending the “Chaos” Tokyo Performances

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Thank you very much to everyone who came along to see our “Chaos” performances in Tokyo at the end of last year.

Our concerts at the Bunkyo Civic Center were the last ones of our month-long tour, which started on Sado Island in late November.

In this programme we drum on tires for some pieces. Towards the end of the tour, the covers on the tyres were getting softer so we re-covered them in Tokyo.


Photo: Takashi Okamoto

These tires are featured as instruments and the new covers gave them a new lease on life. I had to think about their durability while trying to get the sound I wanted from them, so I played the tires by trial and error everyday.

In “Chaos” we play Japanese drums and various other instruments, so we have to consider the best sound to make with each instrument to fit in with the other sounds. This meant we couldn’t just play taiko in our usual manner. Instead, we sometimes mute the reverberations and weave delicate sounds together.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

While it was chaotic, somehow it was indeed a feel-good performance for us. There was no plan to create sound in time or make sure you were in time or in sync with someone or something else. So even if someone came along with an unusual element, we would meld together just by feeling and being in that moment.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

We want to hear each other’s sound in the best way, so naturally, I feel that we all head towards harmony together.

We gave five performances in a row at Bunkyo Civic Center as the tour finale. Thank you very much for coming. I am truly grateful to have been able to perform in front of so many people everyday.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Special Feature in the Financial Times, UK “Japan’s Kodo drummers”

“Chaos is aptly named, but this is chaos of the most scrupulously organised kind. It is an exhilarating performance that leaves both drummers and audience breathless and a reminder that there is simply no substitute for the visceral thrill of experiencing the powerful cumulative resonance of these drums played in person.”


▶ About “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos”

Kodo Blog | Chaos

“Chaos” will tour throughout Japan in June and July 2016. Details will be announced on our website in early February.

Announcing the New 2016 Kodo Junior Members

New 2016 Kodo Junior Members

Five recent Kodo Apprentice Centre graduates have just become Kodo junior members. They are Koharu Ido, Issei Kohira, Masayasu Maeda, Koji Miyagi, and Kodai Yoshida. We thank you in advance for your support of their activities.

*The decision about Yuri Sakamoto is pending and will be made in March 2016.

Photo: Takuro Susaki

(From left) Masayasu Maeda, Issei Kohira, Koharu Ido, Koji Miyagi, & Kodai Yoshida at Kodo Village on Jan. 19, 2016


All Together to Start the New Year!

Photo: Kosuke Nakagawa

The Kodo Group on  Jan. 16, 2016, in Shukunegi, Sado Island, Niigata, Japan

We have started our year with a spring in our step as we begin rehearsals and work.
Thank you in advance for your continued support of Kodo throughout 2016!

“My First ‘Interactive Performance’ Tour” by Mizuki Yoneyama


Dec. 25, 2015Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Hello! I am Mizuki Yoneyama, one of Kodo’s junior members.

I spent the past six weeks or so on tour with the “Kodo Interactive Performance” programme.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Throughout the tour I experienced many things with my heart and senses: the air and scent of each place, the colors and sounds, and new connections with people who we encountered at the many schools and theaters. I want to find out more and more about so many things through wadaiko… like discovering pure sound, natural communication and, personally, how to be completely upfront.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Photo: Takashi Okamoto


2015 “Chaos” Finale

Final 2015 Performance of “Chaos”

Photo: Takashi OkamotoPhoto: Takashi Okamoto

On Dec. 23 we welcomed a large audience to our last performance of “Chaos” for 2015.


Actor Yohji Tanaka came along to see our performance! Here he is with a few of the cast members after the concert.

Kodo provided part of the soundtrack to Yohji Tanaka’s latest short movie.

See here for details: http://kodo.or.jp/blog_en/news/20151117_3878.html


Production Details | Chaos

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!


Thank you very much for your kind support throughout 2015 and to date.

In 2016, Kodo celebrates its 35th anniversary.

Moving forward, we will endeavor to present better performances than ever before.

Thank you in advance for your continued support.

We wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.


Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble

English Version of Kodo Apprentice Centre Introduction Video Now Online

English Version of Kodo Apprentice Centre Introduction Video Now Online

In July we shared a new video online that introduces the Kodo Apprentice Centre in Japanese. We are pleased to announce that we have just uploaded an English version, too. This video shows scenes of daily life at the Apprentice Centre on Sado Island throughout the four seasons and introduces the curriculum of the two-year apprentice programme.

Watch on YouTube
[English version]https://youtu.be/1bHvTjHofe0
[Japanese version]https://youtu.be/9VzM4tu2K7k

Applications for the 2016 intake have closed already. For inquiries regarding the 2017 intake, please contact Kodo Cultural Foundation.

(Please note that advanced Japanese is a selection requirement.)

Kodo Cultural Foundation(Tel.0 259-81-4100 / Email: kenshujo@kodo.or.jp

“Impressions of ‘Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos’” by Kyoko Honma

Impressions of “Kodo One Earth Tour: Chaos”

Review by Kyoko Honma ● Photos by Takashi Okamoto

I used to spend my days going to concert halls and live houses all over Tokyo. Without a doubt, the rock performances were the most explosive.
Guitar, bass, and drums.
I saw countless bands featuring these three instruments with vocals. The drummer and bass player are usually the rhythm section of each band, so if the drums go off beat, they cannot play the rhythm as one.
When I closed my eyes to feel the rhythm, for some reason
(demon drumming from Sado Island) would come to mind. It was sort of like a strange déjà vu about the folk arts on Sado.
I found the reason for that phenomenon when I saw Kodo’s “Chaos” performance.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
There were three drum kits on stage. Three drummers played the drums, each in their own way, and I got goosebumps each time. There is a universality within the action of beating a rhythm and each powerful beat resonates throughout your soul. So any sound created on earth comes from the same place. This also rang true for the flutes, timpani, and harps that were featured in the “Chaos” performance. I heard sound only that person could create, that I could only encounter in that moment. It is significant that the Kodo performers gave this performance without collaborating with other artists.

The audience responded with echoing applause.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto
I floated over an invisible wall of preconceptions and really enjoyed the sound. Centered around percussion, “Chaos” also incorporates string instruments, wind instruments, vocals, handmade instruments…anything and everything!

I am excited by the fascinating possibilities Kodo, the ultimate “band,” has shown with this production.

Photo: Takashi Okamoto

Ms. Kyoko Honma is the daughter of Mr. Masahiko Honma, a teacher and advisor to Kodo since the founding of its antecedent group Sado no Kuni Ondekoza. Ms. Honma attended the premiere performance of “Chaos” on Sado Island on Nov. 23, 2015.



About “Chaos”

Performance Schedule (Nov.–Dec. 2015)

Kodo Blog | Chaos

Premiere Tour Throughout Japan

Nagoya Dec. 15 (Tue), 2015 Aichi Arts Center, Nagoya, Aichi

Yokohama Dec. 17 (Thu) Kanagawa Kenmin Hall, Yokohama, Kanagawa

 Tokyo Dec. 19 (Sat)–23 (Wed./Public Hol.) Bunkyo Civic Hall, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo

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