Seiichi Tanaka as their Grand master founded Taiko Dojo in 1968. San Francisco Taiko Dojo was the first group to perform taiko in North America. It has been a link, which primarily connects North America and the Japanese branches and their art form. Tanaka the master of taiko beliefs that, for one to play taiko perfectly, he or she needs to develop an interest in the art and forms of taiko. He does not need to have Japanese heritage or ethnicity. Tanaka has promoted the growth of taiko. Taiko has grown both in and outside japan. Since the founding of taiko, it has grown under the leadership of Tanaka.
San Francisco Taiko Dojo comprises of about 200 students. The students belong to different professions, ethnicities, skill levels and even different backgrounds. The students have varying ages from four years up to sixty years. The grand master Tanaka of taiko has allowed open membership to taiko to make it inclusive of everybody. It is open to everyone. The master Tanaka and San Francisco Taiko Dojo developed and continuously improved taiko from the primitive fork art and roots up to its powerful, harmony, sophisticated synthesis of rhythm and the body movement (Tanaka, 38). Currently the resonant style is formed by the combination of rigorous mental, martial arts training, physical movements combined with musical instruments. Out of his talents and hard work grand master of taiko has been awarded many countries as recognition of his work of art and music. This is because Tanaka allows anyone o join the group. During their performance, they are recognized and awarded. Tanaka has contributed to the preservation of Japanese culture and art. Recently, the ministry of foreign affairs in Japan.in 2013 honored him, grand master Tanaka was ranked number 13 in Japan’s Nation and he was awarded.
When playing taiko a player has to show four basic characteristics: kokoro, this is showing of the self-control, spirit and even heart playing where the player enjoys the music by playing from their heart. Another characteristic of playing taiko is waza where the player is expected to show skill, action, musicianship and the technique of playing. The player also ought to show karada where the player uses his body, endurance and physical strength when playing. The last characteristic, which the player is expected to show, is the rei where the players are expected to show respect, etiquette and unity among themselves (Tanaka, 145). The students joining the taiko group are however expected to follow these principles for them to play perfectly.
The taiko songs are categorized into Hiryu or Issami this song is dedicated to Dragon God called Hiryu is the flying dragon. The songs recognize that everyone is expected to pass through different challenges in life. The player plays the song by reciting “mo” three times as the rhythm of the song. The challenges symbolize death and later on new life. The player also has to recite “Norito” which is a prayer to god. The song then brings three choruses, which expresses the great joy and power of dragon (Takei, 123).
Tsunami II is another taiko song. It shows the strength and power of Tsunami wave. Every soloist plays for his or her spirit to carry in every beat. The rhythm and voice of the players is dedicated to the spirit of humanity survivors. Hichijo is another taiko song, which asks God to give anglers a good catch and return them to their homes. Women recite the rhythm. The song Many sides were performed in 2011 at international Taiko Festival and its rhythm suggest many stars symbolizing god’s blessing (Takei, 158). The other taiko song is Yodan whose rhythm is exuberant. It also has new styles of playing. All these taiko songs are under the leadership of Tanaka.
The concert about Taiko Dojo, which took place in City College of San Francisco Diego Rivera Theater, was very interesting. I really enjoyed the concert. It was encouraging and motivational. The rhythm of the songs was very enjoyment and moving. The style employed by the payers was tactical and could move the audience. After watching the concert, I learnt about the Japanese culture and traditions. I enjoyed the concert and at the end, I feel like joining the group to become one of the players.
In conclusion, Taiko Dojo has been improved from its primitive way of playing up to the modern way. The style and rhythm has changed and currently musical instruments, which make it lively and enjoyable, accompany it. The concert motivates its audience and thus makes them to learn the Japanese culture and traditions. The players employ different styles and rhythms to make the song enjoyable.
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