First taiko performance in the United States (Japanese)

The reason he came to the United States (Japanese) First taiko performance in the United States (Japanese) Differences in taiko style (Japanese) Originality of each taiko group (Japanese) Benefits of living in the United States (Japanese) Promoting group identity through taiko contests (Japanese) Taiko's sounds as Japanese cultural tradition (Japanese)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Japanese) I found there was a Bon Dance at the Long Beach Buddhist Temple in the “Rafu Shimpo”. I quickly went down there. There was yagura (wooden platform) and taiko with a Nisei or Sansei…maybe Nisei man sitting on a chair placing the taiko like this and hitting on it like this. I asked him, “let me play.” He said, “No.” He just wouldn’t let me play. So, I kept bugging him and bugging him persistently. Eventually he must have gotten tired. He relented and said I could play. I removed everything, like the speaker and the chair, everything around there, then started to play. After I began to play, I noticed that the dancers were looking up at me on the top of yagura and stopped dancing. I wonder if I did something wrong or my taiko didn’t follow the rhythm. I listened to the music carefully, but my taiko rhythm was okay. But everybody on the ground was looking up the sky. I also looked up the sky wondering what is up there to see, while I was beating on the taiko. Then when the music was finished, there was a sudden loud applause. Well, as I figure, the folks were surprised by my Tokyo-Style Bon dance taiko playing, which they have never seen.

Date: April 1, 2005
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Ann Kaneko
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum.

long beach buddhist temple music obon taiko

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