Raiden Taiko

Raiden Taiko

Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada

Founded June 2004

Basic Information

    Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association and National Association of Japanese Canadians, Kamloops & Area Chapter

Background Information

Group's Mission and Motivation

To advance Japanese Canadian cultural awareness and personal growth and development through Taiko drumming.

Structure and Philosophy
Describe the ensemble's organizational structure and philosophy, including leadership structure, membership policy, and instructional process.

To become a premier cultural performing group in the B.C. Interior.

I acknowledge that Taiko Group activities are one of my personal priorities. Therefore, I shall make a sincere effort to attend practices, functions, workshops and performances.

I shall actively participate in the operation, administration and fundraising of the Taiko Group to ensure its overall success.

The goal of the Taiko Group shall be to perform in public, however I acknowledge that it is not a requirement of membership.

I shall freely express my opinion and shall consider the opinions of others within the Taiko Group with respect. I shall not knowingly bring harm or disrepute to individuals within the Group, to the Group as a whole or to the KJCA.

I shall give assistance to and accept assistance from Taiko Group members in the spirit of continuous improvement. I recognize that as a performing art, the Taiko Group strives for excellence.

I shall support decisions made in good faith by the Taiko Group and reached by consensus.

I shall take care of anything entrusted to me by the Taiko Group or the KJCA.

Group History
Describe how, where, and why the ensemble was founded. What was its inspiration?

Raiden Taiko was formed in June 2004 following a workshop and concert by Katari Taiko of Vancouver, B.C.

There was interest in forming a taiko group for some time however it did not take shape until a few core people began to get organized, build momentum and get things going.

List of Founding Members

Debbie Cairns
Emi Doi
Kaz Dufficy
Les Tabata
Henry Uyeda
Tanya Uyeda
Kylie Rosenberg
Bill White
Lance Yamada

List of Current Members

Debbie Cairns
Mary Ann Mochizuki
Kaz Dufficy
Les Tabata
Nicola Tabata
Cathie Levin
Lance Yamada
Tanya Uyeda (part time)

Membership Composition
(i.e. ethnicity, generation, average years of experience, musical backgrounds, and motivation for playing)

All members belong to the Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association.

Our members have varied musical backgrounds including western drums, choir, vocal jazz, odori and high school band. Several members had no previous musical background.

Description of the group's community - regional, ethnic, social, etc.

The nikkei population in Kamloops is well established in the community. Many have been here since the 1950's. There is a good spirit of cooperation and participation within the nikkei community here. Volunteer support for community events is outstanding.

The Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association is one of the most active cultural groups in the city. The local chapter of the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC) is also very active at the local and national levels.

Biggest Changes
Describe two of the biggest changes that have characterized the group's development since its founding

1.) Our first equipment consisted of packing tape over plastic garbage cans. Our shime was an inverted metal pail and our bachi were fashioned from broom handles. We now have performance grade instruments manufactured in the US and Asia.

2.) Another big change is the cultural and artistic awakening that our members have experienced on a personal level through taiko.

Performances, Recordings, Publications

List a selection of your regular performance venues (for example, Denver Sakura Matsuri, Seabrook obon, business conventions, Manzanar Pilgrimage, Maui Marathon, etc.)

BC Nisei Curling Bonspiel
Official Opening of International Building, Thompson Rivers University
Official Opening of Asian Heritage Month
Asian Heritage Month concert
Wedding reception
Canada Day/Folkfest
Western Canada Senior Hockey Tournament

Elementary school presentations
Connections International, Thompson Rivers University
Reception for Uji City, Japan delegation
Essence of Japan concert with special guests Katari Taiko
Canada Day/Folkfest
Ponderosa Lodge seniors facility
CIBC Run for the Cure

Elementary School Presentations
People's Fountain Banquet
International Days, Thompson Rivers University
Bizarre Bazaar Festival
Canadian College & University Food Service Association Annual Conference
Canada Day/Folkfest with special guests Steveston Tera Taiko
Kamloops Obon ceremony
Downtown Merchants Market
Reception for slow pitch delegation from Uji City, Japan
CIBC Run for the Cure

International Days, Thompson Rivers University
National Police Curling Championships
Council of Western Financial, Logistical and Operational Personnel, Thompson Rivers University
Ralph Bell Elementary School demonstration
Arigato Concert, Kamloops Buddhist Temple
United Way Campaign Kick Off
Canada Day/Folkfest
Kamloops Downtown Business Association Merchant's Market
Twentieth Anniversary of Redress Settlement for Japanese Canadians
CIBC Run for the Cure
TRU WolfPack volleyball home opener
TRU Sports Task Force Gala

Elementary School Presentations
TRU WolfPack volleyball vs. Budo International University
International Days, Thompson Rivers University
TRU WolfPack volleyball home opener
CIBC Run for the Cure
Secondary School Presentation
Canada Day/Folkfest

"So You Wanna Taiko" Concert, Vernon Winter Carnival
CIS Canadian Volleyball Championships
Keirokai Dinner
Canada Day/Folkfest
2010 WMA World Masters Indoor Athletics Championships

Kamloops Festival of the Performing Arts Honour's Concert
International Days, Thompson Rivers University
Kamloops Canadian & International Film Festival
Canada Day/Folkfest
Obon Festival
Enderby Arts Festival
Western Canada Summer Games
TRU WolfPack Volleyball Home Opener

Upcoming in 2012
International Days, Thompson Rivers University
"Flying Bachi Tour" to Uji, Japan
Ashcroft & District Rodeo Parade


Instructors, Teachers & Mentors
List the instructors, teachers and mentors who have worked with the ensemble.

Katari Taiko
Steveston Tera Taiko
Kodo Arts Sphere America
Eien Hunter-Ishikawa











Taiko Collaborators
List a selection of taiko players or groups that have collaborated with the ensemble.

Katari Taiko
Steveston Tera Taiko


Les Tabata
Raiden Taiko, 160 Vernon Avenue, Kamloops BC V2B 1L6


No videos


No audio

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

The Nippon Foundation