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Tag ‘North America Tour’

“USA Tour Opening Night in Yakima” by Hayato Otsuka


Jan. 29, 2017

途中のスキー場/Photo: Hayato Otsuka

A ski field I saw from the bus

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.

ヤキマの街並み/Photo: Hayato Otsuka

Out and about in Yakima

While it was freezing outside, all the locals were very kind and I felt their warmth through our interactions.

アンパッキングの様子/Photo: Hayato Otsuka

Unpacking and setting up our taiko

 

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!

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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.

主催のCapitol Theatre様より

Gift basket from the presenter, The Capitol Theatre.

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Jan.–Mar. 2017 “DADAN 2017″ –Kodo 35th Anniversary Production– USA Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/news/20170126dadan_en.html

 

ANA DADAN 2017


“My Last Tour” by Shunichiro Kamiya


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!

Photo: Shunichiro Kamiya
I want to soak up every experience while I am there. Time to go!

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ANA DADAN 2017


“Some Lessons I Have Learned from North American Taiko Groups” by Tomohiro Mitome


Mar. 1, 2015

Hello, everyone! How are you all doing?

This is Tomohiro Mitome, leader of taiko performing arts ensemble Kodo.

March is here and it is getting warmer and more comfortable day by day. While we are happy that spring has arrived, some of us are unfortunately suffering from hayfever here at Kodo Village.

The “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour started at the end of January and is now over halfway through its two-month-long journey. In North America, there are many people who have been very kind and helpful to us since the days of Kodo’s antecedent group, “Sado no Kuni Ondekoza,” in the 70′s. They are members of taiko groups in the USA and Canada.

Photo: Taro Nishita

At one of the 2005 North America tour performances

I heard a lot of stories about North American taiko groups from senior Kodo members before I had even joined Kodo, many of which are featured in the Kodo 30th Anniversary Publication Inochi Moyashite, Tatakeyo – 30 Years of Kodo - (in Japanese). In this blog post, I am going to write about my own personal experiences. I was last on tour in North America about eight years ago. At that time, I recall that their style of taiko featured traditions that had been passed down for generations and in addition, a new “North American taiko style” was beginning to emerge.

Photo: Taro Nishita

In Kodo’s early years, our ensemble toured in North America every year and the local taiko groups at each performance destination helped us so much and welcomed Kodo with great warmth. Among those many groups, one in particular, San Jose Taiko in California, even let us use their rehearsal space to store our stage props and tour equipment.

Photo: Mitsunaga Matsuura
Recently, both San Jose Taiko and Kodo have experienced a shift in generations, and now Kodo’s senior members don’t go abroad on tour very much. So, one year San Jose Taiko organized a time for us to sit down together in a circle and talk to each other (pictured above). They arranged this opportunity because they felt that it was necessary for us to reignite our communication and exchange, in order to understand more about each group’s history, about taiko, about the Japanese-American community in the U.S., and to discuss the past, present and future ties between Kodo and San Jose Taiko.

When we visited them and watched them rehearse, I was very impressed by their solid etiquette and good manners, such as bowing before they stood on the tatami mats and began their practice. Kodo can practice any time, so we did not create a “boundary line” like that to shift our mindset before our practices. But now, since experiencing that, we have changed our own habits and now we create the right environment and mindset when we begin our practises, for example, by putting on tabi (split-toed socks or shoes). That visit made me realize that they really treasure their Japanese identity and uphold their Japanese culture and spirit by passing it on to new generations.

Photo: Taro Nishita

Pictures from North America Tour in 2005. (Former Kodo member Kaoru Watanabe is in the middle of the picture above.)

Photo: Taro Nishita

Photo: Taro Nishita

When we go abroad, we need to have sound knowledge of Japanese culture so that we can explain it to others, but that is no easy task. We recognize a lot about ourselves during our overseas tours by comparing the differences between our cultures and lifestyles. One thing I noticed is that in Japan we are good at arranging different foreign culture, such as cuisine, to best suit Japanese people.

I hope that the 2015 North America tour members have been discovering and learning many things on this tour, too.

tomohiro_s

20150127oet

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/index_en.html#schedule13a

Promotion Video for Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery at BAM

Promotion Video for Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery at Mesa
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Kodo Article on The Huffington Post

Kaoru Watanabe Interview on BAM Blog


“We’re in Texas!” by Yui Kawamoto


Feb. 19, 2015

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

We are now in Austin, Texas, on the “Mystery” North America Tour.

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

We will perform at the Paramount Theatre tonight. When we arrived backstage, we found autographs by the Kodo members who came here on tour in 2007!

Photo: Yui Kawamoto

Takeshi Arai and Masayuki Sakamoto were on that tour 8 years ago and they told us all kinds of stories from 2007, reliving their memories as they looked at each name on the wall.

 

We still have many more performances to go on our current tour throughout the USA and Canada!

20150127oet

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/index_en.html#schedule13a


“Kodo Cake” by Tetsumi Hanaoka


We are all doing well, traveling around the U.S. with “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery.” We are very surprised at the climate here, which is so different to winter in Japan. It was hot enough to get sunburnt in Las Vegas.

At each theater, there is always a “Green Room,” where we have meals and refreshments, hang out, and sometimes watch a TV monitor to check what is happening on the stage.

On our performance day in Dallas we found a….(drumroll)…. “Kodo” cake in the green room at Music Hall at Fair Park!

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We were so grateful to Rick, who prepared all our meals that day, for bringing this cake for us!

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Of course, we all enjoyed this delicious treat together. Thank you, Rick!

We have been on tour for two weeks now. It’s the timing on a long tour when we feel physically tired, so this surprise cake gave us a real boost!

tetsumihanaoka_s

20150127oet

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/index_en.html#schedule13a

 


“Martin’s BBQ” by Tetsumi Hanaoka


Our “Mystery” North America tour is going along well.

To tour and hold performances requires dedicated work by so many key people behind the scenes. On this tour, one of them is Mr. Martin Lechner, our lighting director. We affectionately call him “Martin.” He is a tall like a big bear.

Photos: Tetsumi Hanaoka

One performance day, I thought I could smell something good… and it turned out that Martin was cooking meat and sausages! He made hotdogs and hamburgers for us! They were so delicious, fresh off the grill!

 

By the way, he said that when you cook them slowly on a low heat it’s called “barbequing,” and when you cook them quickly on a high heat it’s called “grilling.” I never knew that before!

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We’ll use this BBQ fuel as energy for our upcoming performances!

tetsumihanaoka_s

20150127oet

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/index_en.html#schedule13a


“A Breath of Fresh Air” by Mariko Omi


A new female member joined us for our current “Mystery” tour. Her name is Tomoe Miura and she is a brand new junior member.

Photo: Mariko Omi
She has only just finished her apprenticeship, but right off the bat she has been exposed to so many challenges: life overseas, jet lag, difference climates, various theaters, hotel life, and giving performances in front of actual audiences.

Photo: Mariko Omi
Her eagerness and determination provide a breath of fresh air on this tour, which inspires us and makes us take a good look at our own mindsets, too.

As we perform and rehearse the various pieces, new ideas emerge and shape the programme in new ways. You can see the individuality of each cast member developing in each piece as we progress on this tour. The “Mystery” production had its final Japan performance last year, but it is now undergoing a renaissance as we perform it on tour in North America.
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20150127oet

“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour

Announcing the New 2015 Kodo Junior Members

 

 


“Our Visit to Asano Taiko U.S.!” by Tetsumi Hanaoka


Feb. 7, 2015

Our Visit to Asano Taiko U.S.

Photo: Tetsumi Hanaoka
Photo: Tetsumi Hanaoka20150205_141508

Today we visited “Asano Taiko U.S.” in Torrance, California, on the way from Santa Barbara to San Diego during our “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour.

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Asano Taiko has helped us so much with our current tour. We visited their store, studio, and Kato Taiko‘s workshop next door to Asano Taiko U.S. They told us that the studio holds workshops almost every day and that the U.S. taiko population is rapidly growing, along with the level of technique. We need to keep up with them!

We will continue to do our best on this tour!

tetsumihanaoka_s

20150127oet


“Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/index_en.html#schedule13a

 


“The 2015 North America Tour Begins!” by Yui Kawamoto


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On Jan. 26, the One Earth Tour members arrived safely in North America!

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Today, we unpacked our cargo at the first performance venue in Bellingham, Washington.

It’s a cute theater in a small town.

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Tomorrow is our opening night!

We look forward to seeing you all at Bellingham’s Mount Baker Theatre.

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Jan.–Mar. 2015 “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour
http://www.kodo.or.jp/oet/index_en.html#schedule13a


“Another Side of ‘Mystery’” by Otodaiku


The “Kodo One Earth Tour 2015: Mystery” North America Tour is about to begin. This production premiered in Japan in December 2013 and it has just set off on its first tour abroad. We are really looking forward to seeing how the audiences in the USA and Canada react to this new programme.

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Last year, we released the music from “Mystery” as an album, which captures the work in another unique light. The composers created new arrangements of their stage pieces especially for the album, which we then recorded at Kodo Village.

Photo: Erika Ueda
Each performer took great care to pack each and every sound with feeling. We hope you will enjoy the album, as a fresh look at the music from this “One Earth Tour” stage performance.

“Mystery” is available from Kodo performance venues, Kodo Online Store, iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.

【Listen to Track Samples Online】Discography | Mystery

【Purchase Download Version】iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD Baby

【Purchase CD】Kodo Online Store

【”Kodo One Earth Tour: Mystery” Preview】YouTube

 


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