As a person with a Japanese American practice, a traditional form of karate that was created in New York by a Japanese American man in 1976, I’m interested in others. While taiko drums go back hundreds of years into the mists of gods and legends in Japan, according to Wikipedia, the modern ensemble performance variety most people familiar with taiko in the US know about was developed more recently – in 1951 – by Daihachi Oguchi.
Chicago is home to more than one taiko ensemble, and as I looked into one to feature I found Ho Etsu Taiko, a young group who, in addition to loving the activity itself, uses taiko as a way to maintain members’ Japanese American cultural heritage. In the video below the artistic director of the ensemble explains some of its uniquely Japanese American qualities.
Thanks for reading.