University of Tasmania Taiko Society

University of Tasmania Taiko Society

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Founded June 2002

Basic Information

    Tasmania University Union

Background Information

Group's Mission and Motivation

- to follow the traditions of taiko through practising and performing traditional Japanese drumming music.
- to promote taiko and Japanese culture in our local area and provide the Tasmanian people an opportunity of learning the principles of taiko.
- to promote cultural awareness in Tasmanian communities, and in support cultural education in Tasmanian schools
- to foster mutual understanding between Australian and Japanese people through each others' traditional cultures.
- to build a strong support base for taiko in Tasmania, and create opportunities for more concerts and touring artists.
- to develop a group who can perform at a high standard at a variety of events and concerts to represent this part of Japanese culture
- to use taiko as a means for developing international friendship ties with Japan, particularly between our Sister-Cities.

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

Our group is both a performing and a teaching institution. We encourage both students and other members to perform as a part of their training.

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

Our group began when Simon Vanyai and Hiroko Otsuka met at a Taiko Concert by a Melbourne Taiko group. Simon Vanyai had learned Taiko in Japan for 2 years with Art Lee, and Hiroko Otsuka had a strong passion for showing a wider audience the appeal of Taiko. Together set about generating interest in
Taiko, running information sessions, teaching taiko basics to enthusiastic students. They collected Japanese costumes, and plastic buckets to beat on, and in just 4 months they managed to coordinate Tasmania's first home grown Taiko performance, at University Open Day of 2002.

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

Our group have gone from strength to strength, learning how to make our own drums: we have made six nagados, an odaiko and many okedo drums. We now perform frequently at local festivals, schools and conferences. We have also created new uniforms in a red, black and white design.

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.)

Schools throughout Tasmania
Wrest Point
Federation Concert Hall
Grand Chancellor
Taste of Tasmania

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

Grand Master Daihachi Oguchi from Osuwa Daiko (during a group trip to Japan)
Art Lee
Toshi Sakamoto
Simon Vanyai

Audio & Video Recordings
List a selection of publicly accessible audio and/or video recordings featuring the ensemble.

"Door of Hope" DVD performance

List a selection of articles, master's theses, dissertations, or other publications written about the ensemble.

"40degrees South" magazine article (Issue 32)

Signature Works
Please include title, composer, date of composition, special reason(s) for composition, and what the work represents to the group.

Tassie Jima Daiko (2002) - The low horizontal style of drumming originates from the island of Miyake (Miyake-Jima), Japan. The rhythm of the heartbeat evokes a sense of "home"™. We follow traditional forms, and overlay our own rhythms to create Tassie Jima Daiko. Written by Simon Vanyai.

Seijyaku No Wa (2002) (The Harmony of Silence) - This is the first song written by Simon Vanyai for the group, performed at the University open day, 2002.

Jungaru (2005) - Jungaru was born from a rhythm. A rhythm which evokes the tribal spirit of an exotic jungle. The sections are conceived as wildlife interacting within this dream. Lions, elephants, zebras and snakes become the inspiration for movements and beats, just as many Japanese arts are heavily influenced by nature. Written by Simon Vanyai.


Simon Vanyai
C/- TUU, Po Box 950 Sandy Bay TAS 7006 Australia


"Tassie Jima Daiko" "Harmony of Silence"



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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation