Mar. 22, 2017
Our USA tour is currently in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Our Santa Fe performance tomorrow is sold out. We will pour all the energy we receive from the full house into playing taiko for them!
“DADAN 2017” –Kodo 35th Anniversary Production– (USA)
Mar. 18, 2017
It’s Freezing Cold in America, but US DADAN Is on Fire!!!
We are currently in Richmond, Virginia, which is right next to Washington D.C.!!
The US DADAN Tour started over a month ago in Yakima, Washington, and we have traveled over 4500km from West to East! This tour has drawn near its end and we were hoping that Spring would draw closer… but instead, it is still freezing cold in mid-March!
For me, it has been about three years since the last time I was in the States. I spent about ten years of my childhood in a town called Ridgewood, New Jersey. After graduating high school, I decided to leave NJ to start a new life in Tokyo and also learn more about taiko. After I graduated university in Tokyo, I decided to apply for Kodo’s Apprentice Centre, hoping to become a member of Kodo. I totally did not expect to come back to the States so soon, as my US resident status ended when I became a Kodo apprentice.
Fortunately, I got to come back to the US this year and reunite with many friends that I haven’t seen for years. It almost felt like having a little reunion after our shows. The most memorable moment of this tour was having my high school music teachers and colleagues come to see our performance in New York. It brought me back many memories from my high school days.
During the tour, I got to travel many places where it felt like I was back at home, and there were also places that was very new to me. Having the chance to travel to different places like Arizona, Washington, and Illinois, was very new and exciting for me. From this tour, I realized how the culture and people can be so different, depending on where I go. Although the places we visit belong to the same country, each place evokes so many different thoughts and gives me different inspiration.
We have not only given performances in theaters but also workshops for students and local taiko groups around the States. Looking at the faces of the participants, I saw their strong love of taiko and motivation, just like the taiko lovers in Japan.
I also learned that taiko can be a very powerful communication tool that can facilitate exchange between people, regardless of political conflicts or cultural differences.
There are only a few performances left, but DADAN members are very excited to bring the heat and rock the stage for the rest of the tour!!
“DADAN 2017” –Kodo 35th Anniversary Production– (USA)
Jan. 29, 2017
After the plane trip from Japan to the USA, the moment I arrived in Yakima felt like a baptism of sorts. I was plunged into a sub-zero world and I felt my body and soul flinch in the cold.
While it was freezing outside, all the locals were very kind and I felt their warmth through our interactions.
On and off stage, I truly felt firsthand that while we may live in different countries and have different cultures, all we need is the desire to share with one another for our hearts to communicate.
During our performance, we were uplifted by powerful applause, cheers, and whistles from the audience, and naturally we responded to each moment of “communication” with passion in each beat of our performance!
The DADAN 2017 USA Tour got off to a great start thanks to such a warm welcome and response in Yakima.
Now we are off to our next destination… I wonder what encounters await me today?
I will do my very best until the last performance of the tour and I plan to learn as much as possible during my travels.
Jan.–Mar. 2017 “DADAN 2017” –Kodo 35th Anniversary Production– USA Tour
Jan. 24, 2017
My Last Tour
I am about to set off on my last tour with Kodo, the “DADAN” USA Tour.
I am really looking forward to exchange with people in the USA through taiko and our performances!
Heading to the US! DADAN 2017
We’ve just left Kodo Village for our North American tour of DADAN!
Sending us off were the newest members to the Kodo family- the junior members, fresh out of the Apprentice Centre.
Personally, it’s been four years since I’ve been back home in the US.
We look forward to seeing you all!
“DADAN 2017” USA Tour –Kodo 35th Anniversary Production–
Performers: Masayuki Sakamoto, Yosuke Kusa, Yuta Sumiyoshi, Jun Jidai, Shunichiro Kamiya, Ryoma Tsurumi, Kengo Watanabe, Ryotaro Leo Ikenaga, Hayato Otsuka, Reo Kitabayashi, Issei Kohira, Masayasu Maeda, Koji Miyagi, Kodai Yoshida
*Cast is subject to change without notice.
Dec. 7, 2016
The Year’s End
Hello, everyone. How are you?
The end of the year is upon us. How was this year for you? Personally, I became the Ensemble Leader of Kodo in the group’s 35th year and it feels like it was just the other day that I was penning my first greeting… that’s how fast this year has flown for me! Thanks to your support, the help from our senior members, and guidance from many people, Kodo has carried out a broad range of projects in many regions and countries. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone who made our activities possible.
“Kodo One Earth Tour: Spiral” is currently in the final leg of its Japan tour. Since the premiere at Suntory Hall in August, the program has been gaining depth on the road with every performance. We really hope you will come along to the theater to experience the sound we have been crafting over the past months, and years. Let us “charge your batteries” with the sound of taiko so you can start the new year fully energized.
By the way, as the year’s end started to approach, I was doing some tidying and I came across a memo of a passage I had written down from an essay I read at the beginning of the year.
“Everything that grows changes. And it becomes more complex. With growth, how we think and behave becomes more complex, more multilayered, and we become more detailed and profound.”
These are the words* of philosopher and martial artist Tatsuru Uchida. They are words that express feelings of worry about Japan. He says Japan is moving backwards… that Japan’s sudden growth and changes are accompanied by fear and distortion. This is strikingly clear when you look at the political and economical situation in Japan and abroad.
*Note: This is an English translation of the original Japanese quote.
However, this year I took part in our “Chaos” and “Spiral” tours and these words made me think of Kodo, a group that is constantly trying to grow. In the middle of the growth process, we have a certain rawness. But I felt firsthand that Tamasaburo Bando used these productions to present Kodo with a future mission. This experience made me become determined to create performances that our audiences will thoroughly enjoy and to always share good sound.
Next year will begin with our “DADAN 2017” USA Tour, “Hatsune Miku x Kodo Collaboration”, and encore performances of “Michi.” In spring, we will take the stage with Tamasaburo Bando for a brand new production, “Yugen.” As you can see, the first half of 2017 will be a very exciting, productive six months.
Next year, we will continue to pour our hearts into creating soul-stirring sound that will move and energize our audiences. We will do our very best to make next year a wonderful year. We wish you all a happy, healthy new year.
Yuichiro Funabashi, Ensemble Leader, Kodo
On Tour with ‘DADAN’ in Brazil
Kodo is back in Brazil for the first time in eight years. The opening night of the “DADAN 2016” tour was held at Teatro Alfa in Sao Paulo.
Eight years ago I saw Kodo here and it was that performance that led me to join Kodo. It was at this very theater and on the same stage. When the “DADAN” performance began, I slipped back in time to eight years ago and I couldn’t take my eyes off the stage.
The reaction of the Brazilian audience was just like last time. Kodo received a full standing ovation and everyone was so excited.
Before the opening night of “DADAN,” we gave a smaller-scale performance in Rio de Janeiro with a cast of five, including myself. We presented a programme that shared Kodo with the audience in a clear way by featuring introductions about Kodo and the Kodo Apprentice Centre, as well as some information about traditional Japanese culture.
I took on the challenge of speaking Portugese as the MC! The whole cast did their best to introduce themselves in Portugese, too, which I think brought us much closer to the audience. The one hour performance flew by!
Taiko is really popular in Sao Paulo and I led a workshop there for experienced taiko players. The participants had such a pure, eager look in their eyes. I was reminded of the passion that people in Brazil have for taiko, all the way over here on the other side of the world from Japan. What I was able to share with them was the importance of the sound of every single beat and how fun it is to create a groove with others. It was a very bountiful four-hour workshop.
Surrounded by the sound of Brazilian taiko for the first time in eight years, I could feel our “common language,” beyond any language barrier, and the unique timing we share when we reunite and play taiko as a team, as one. I recalled my original intentions and felt the significance of continuing on my path with taiko.
When I was in my second year as a Kodo apprentice, Yoohey Kaito from Sao Paulo was a first year in the Apprentice Programme. Yoohey is helping Kodo as an interpreter on the 2016 tour and he is such a huge help with so many other things related to our performances in Brazil this year, too.
Now we are off to Rio de Janeiro for “DADAN” performances there. The “DADAN” team will do their best to leave the sound of Kodo resonating here in Brazil, on the other side of the world from Japan.
Kodo “DADAN 2016” Brazil Tour
Mar. 9, 2016
Kodo’s Live Appearance on a Nationwide Brazilian TV Program!
Kodo appeared on a live national Brazilian TV program called “Entontro com Fátima Bernandes” today before noon.
Fátima and all other guests on the show were great. At the end of the program, taiko was an amazing way to communicate without any language barrier. Please have a look at the program online!
http://gshow.globo.com/programas/encontro-com-fatima-bernardes/videos/t/para-assinantes/v/encontro-com-fatima-bernardes-programa-de-quarta-feira-09032016-na-integra/4870619/ (Program begins after advertisement)
Approx. timing of Kodo appearances: 1:00–1:45 / 29:30–33:30 / 51:30–end.
Our performances in Brazil are getting very close!
March 2016 Kodo “DADAN 2016″ Brazil Tour
The last time Kodo toured in South America was in 2008.
Kodo continually evolves, so we look forward to sharing our dynamism and strength with Brazil this year!
This will be the South American premiere of Kodo’s “DADAN,” performed with passion and energy by eleven powerful male performers. The cast, featuring veteran performers and brand new members, has been rehearsing relentlessly for this tour.
We are all sincerely looking forward to seeing everyone at the theaters in Brazil. Tchau!
March 2016 Kodo “DADAN 2016” Brazil Tour
Oct. 29, 2015
Hello Hong Kong!
We have safely arrived in Hong Kong for the “DADAN” performances! The last time Kodo visited anywhere in China was 15 years ago in 2000. This is my first time ever in Hong Kong and I have been really looking forward to this trip.
But our schedule is rather tight… tomorrow we have to unpack our instruments and load in to the theater, then we have a press conference and rehearsals, then two performances… so that only leaves a short amount of free time today to enjoy Hong Kong.
So, as soon as we got off the bus from the airport and checked in to our hotel, I was straight back outside and leapt on the subway. I started my sightseeing from the southern end of Nathan Road and zigzagged my way north.
I saw lanes of pubs filled with spirited old guys, a chic shopping area like Omotesando (in Tokyo), a market packed with stalls on the street, and such amazing neon signs. I felt such great energy coming from the city and its people.
It was a brief outing, but it was great to feel that pulsating side of Asia. I’m invigorated and will do my best for our performances!
Kodo “DADAN 2015″ Hong Kong Performances
Oct. 30 (Fri) & 31 (Sat), 2015 Sha Tin Town Hall, Hong Kong SAR, China