Monday, December 24, 2012

The Rhythm of A Heart Beat

Today is Christmas Eve.
How are you spending?

Well the other day, I got a Christmas present in advance.
I love Japanese drumtaikoand have long wanted to see Kodō(鼓童);I'd really like you to see this fabulous promotion video to have a glimpse of their performance.

Thanks to Rurousha's  post, I found there would be a performance at Amagasaki,  Hyogo prefecture in December and my dream came true. 

Kodō(鼓童)means the child of taiko; coined word by one of the original members of the group and it also means the rhythm of a heart beating;  kodō(鼓動).

all images are from handouts

Since their debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981Kodō has given over 3500 performances in 46 countries, spending a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan, and a third on Sado Island, home to the group off Japan’s northeast coast.

In the first half stage, I surrendered myself to the swaying and evolving percussive sound produced from various taiko drums, starting delicate tender sound to a crescendo like a swell of ocean.

The second half featured soloists striking group’s hallmark giant taiko.
They beat the taiko as an innocent child just keeping beating, or an ascetic practitioner accomplishing complete combustion of life. A forceful and powerful performance by each soloist while stirring himself with loud encouraging voice, reverberated through marrow of my bones.

The publication of the group says “the sound of the giant taiko is said to resemble a mother’s heartbeat as felt in the womb, and it is no myth that babies are often lulled asleep by its thunderous vibrations”. I’d really like to find out if it’s true or not but it may partly explain why I am drawn to a Japanese taiko. Thunderous as it may be heard, the sound of taiko made out of hundreds-year-old wood has somehow intrinsic warmth and nostalgia as a taiko has been closely related to rituals and festive activities since old times. I remember the remote sound of one I heard when I was small.

Before I knew it, two hours passed. Their beaming bright smiles on their faces at the curtain call
were so impressive. (Thank you, redrose, for your company that day)

At home, my source of healing is here.

home sweet home                            

Thank you for stopping by my blog, dear friends. I've been very happy and thankful to have you here with me.
I wish all of you wonderful winter holidays and a Happy New Year!


  1. You saw Kodō! (^0^)

    "Thunderous as it may be heard, the sound of taiko made out of hundreds-year-old wood has somehow intrinsic warmth ..." That is a beautiful description. I often hear taiko drums at Sensō-ji, and every time it's as if my own heart answers the drums with a little hop, skip and jump. ^^

    Thanks for your lovely posts and photos, and for teaching me so much this year! Happy holidays!

    PS: So ... did you enjoy the view? ;)

    1. I know what you mean by "enjoy the view" ^^ I'd say it's a bit different feeling from that for me. The look of soloist is something very Japanese and conveys a lot his devotion and spirit to playing the taiko so I felt more to it than "enjoy the view". However I'm a bit worried how the audience overseas feel about the way he looks.

      Thank you Rurousha for coming and taking the time to leave the comment every time. Happy holidays to you too!

    2. No, don't worry, I think music lovers know it's a traditional outfit that's also worn at festivals.

      I know about the importance of 丹田 and 気海丹田 in martial arts as well as performance arts such as taiko, and I've read that fundoshi help you to focus on that center. So ... I enjoy a good body when I see one (I can't deny that!), but I realize it's much more than that. They could play in multi-layered kimono and I'd still think they're the best drummers in the world. :)

    3. Wow, you know the technical words for vital points in our body. I "googled" them. Come to think of it, a friend of mine always says there are seven focal points in our body called チャクラ (chakra). 丹田 must fall on the same point. So apart from practicing martial arts or taiko, it would be better to be conscious about our vital points and try to activate them for our healthy life^^

      They are seeking their best performance along with beauty of form, shedding their layers to be a part of taiko. I am glad you enjoyed viewing their shapely figures:)

  2. I can see that this cat have a good time!:-)
    Thanks for all your great pictures of this year!

    Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
    Hugs from Tania

    1. Wish YOU a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too, Tania!
      Looking forward to visiting your fabulous posts next year as well.

  3. 一足早い素晴らしいクリスマスでしたね。特に2部の大太鼓と沢山の中太鼓とのコラボレーションは感動的でした。まだ楽器を持たなかった古代の人々は音の出るものをたたいて合図として利用し、リズムが生まれ、太鼓が生まれ次第に儀式に取り入られるようになった事を思うと、なんと永い年月をかけて素晴らしい音芸術に昇華されたのだろうと実感して何度も涙をこらえました。誘ってくれて有難う!


    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    1. 鼓童の創設者の一人で名付け親でもある林英哲さん(現在は独立している)のインタビューが朝日新聞に載っていました。太鼓を芸術性のある音楽にまで高めた功労者でもあるようです。やはり、まだ音楽としてはマイナーなので、演奏者を育てる苦労も多いようです。新年3日に大阪で彼の演奏会があります。一曲終えると100メートルダッシュを何回か繰り返すのと同じくらいのエネルギーを消耗するとか。そうだろうなと思いますね。演奏は「祈り」でもあるそうです。

    2. Looks like you had a wonderful experience. I suppose the drum sound and beat lasted resonating in your ear and heart for a while it was over. I wanted to join you (thanks for the invitation) but the days with my granddaughter is another series of heart-beat, vital force of driving impulse. Her sweet voice vibrates and produces deep, gentle emotion within me.....maybe the same with the drum sound for deep, strong emotion? Doesn’t Coo smuggle into your bed? As I haven’t had a cat, I have no idea. I sleep with my granddaughter, who is warm like “kotatsu”. Coo’s house looks cozy and must be a good shelter from the subtle wind in the room. I could grab this time to comment while she is in Kobe for a few days. After a little break, I’ll enjoy to tackle another round. :-)

      Thanks for the pleasure of sharing the time both in real and virtual world throughout the year, cosmos. Wish you a Happy New Year.


    3. It must've been a good opportunity to bring you back a sweet sensation you or we had forgotten quite a long time. I know what a warmth and joy and happiness and some tension as well she brought in to your life. Have you got the pace of life centered on her? For her as well, it's been challenging to live without her parents for a while, but I'm sure she is happy to have such nice grandma and grandpa like you. Enjoy this break for a while!

      Unlike my previous cats, Coo seems poor at physical contact, or rather, he doesn't like it. Miru used to smuggle into my bed especially when cold. He was so warm like "kotatsu"^^

      Thank you, Yoko, for everything. I really enjoyed sharing the time with you. Bundle yourself up and stay warm. Looking forward to seeing you next year!

  4. That is fascinating. I get a sense of the power from the pictures and video--it must have been amazing in person!
    Your kitty's house and the kitty are adorable.

    Happy Holidays!


    1. It WAS a powerful and vigorous performance. However, there were stillness and delicate beauty incorporated in the stage as well.
      My cat looks quite satisfied with his "home" when he sleeps at night.
      Thank you Jen for your comment. Happy Holidays to you too!

  5. 和太鼓の轟が写真からも聞こえてきます。胎内で聞いていたリズムだとは気が付きませんでしたが。10代の頃はティンパニーに憧れました。出番は多くなくても打楽器は交響楽を支える存在ですよね。レポートのみでなく感情もきっちりと伝わるcosmosさんの英語力にもいつも感心します。

    1. 私も「胎内で聞いていた鼓動の音に似ている」というのを読んでそうなのかという感じでした。ティンパニーもいいですね。考えてみればどんな音楽もいいですよね。私にとって太鼓は、何か太古(シャレ?)の響き、大地の響き、懐かしさを伴う響き・・そんな音です。体中にエネルギーが広がる感じです。演奏ではあまりの力強さに圧倒されましたが。英語、なんだかほめていただいたようでうれしいです。

  6. Oh, I do love the sound of drums - so energising! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season.

    1. I'm glad you love the sound of drums. I wonder what kind of music you are into?
      Thank you, ladyfi, for coming.
      Wish you happy holidays!

  7. この間、村祭りで、大太鼓一台と中太鼓一台と小太鼓一台の乱打を見ましたが、すごい響きでのみこまれましたが、こんなに多くのドラマーが、演奏するのはすごい迫力と主張を感じることだろうと思いました。また、さそってね。
    Enjoy this season and a Happy New Year!

    1. 太鼓の音は何か心躍りますよね。「村祭り」と言う響きがいいです。子供のころ、村祭りは盛んで一番の楽しみでした。そういう郷愁を運んでくれます。それともっと深い大地の恵みも感じるのです。音楽としても芸術性と独創性がありますね。また行ってみたいです。

  8. I can imagine how deeply the sound of Taiko lasts, resonates, lingers and echos. By chance, I encountered Nara Marathon and heard the sound of Taiko in Tobihino 飛火野. I was surprised when I found where they played Taiko. They played near Nara Prefectural Office Building (県庁)to cheer up athletes. How clearly the sound reached my ear from the distance! Taiko is rather primitive musical instrument. But you told me the sound resembles the most important sound and the first sound which a baby hears. I was deeply impressed by your story!
    Cosmos, thanks a lot for this wonderful blog!

    1. I remember there was a big taiko at my house ages ago. I don't remember when it was used but must have been passed down generations before.
      Thanks to the trailblazer who established taiko as an art form by developing skills and physical strength, primitive musical instruments become a world-class music. It has never lost what is inherent part of nature of taiko. I hope the growing number of taiko music lovers.
      Thank you snowwhite for your friendship this year. Wish you a Happy New Year!

  9. ♡♡ ✿ °•.¸


    Cheio de paz, saúde e muitas alegrias.


    1. Thank you Magia for your lovely comment as always! ♡♡ ✿ °•..•°♡⊱彡 so lovely!

  10. I would love to experience such a concert! It's not enough to say "hear" it because it looks to be so much more than hearing.

    1. Thank you w2w. I'd be happy if you'd be interested in taiko music. It is a Japanese traditional musical instrument but I'm sure it has become a universal appeal thanks to the efforts and sensibility of a trailblazer.
      Happy winter holidays, w2w.

  11. 鼓童の演奏、すばらしいですね! じっさいに演奏を間近で聞くと、youtubeよりもっともっと感動することでしょう! 猫ちゃんのhouse、とても素敵!うちのにも買ってやろうかな。
    I hope you have been enjoying the winter holiday season and offer my best wishes for an auspicious new year!! よいお年を! この一年、ありがとうございました。

    1. 迫力ありましたぁ~。ライブの力ですね。舞台演出も日本の伝統の美が感じられました。
      クーは今までの猫と違って、甘えて膝に乗るという事はありません。ましてや布団に潜り込んでくることも一切ありません。布団の掃除をしなくていいので楽なのですが^^ 代わりにこの家を買ってやると、とても気に入っているようです。

  12. cosmosさん こんにちは。
     鼓動の音色を聴きながらコメントさせてもらってます。 おしゃられる通り、鼓童は心臓の鼓動でもあるのしょう。不思議と聞き入ってしまいます。正直、イカツイ男性集の姿に気後れしましたが、幼い頃に耳にした音なのでょうか?、繊細な音色 リズムから遠い昔の山河が目に浮かんでくるようです。ある意味、日本人のヒーリング音楽ですね。
    僕ちゃんのお家、素敵ですね ! 満足そうな寝顔、とても可愛いです。(*'ー'*)ふふっ♪
    ヘッダーのお写真。漆黒の中、輝く魚の群れ とっても綺麗です。魚くんも大感激間違いなし (*^▽^*)/

    1. コメント、いつもありがとうございます。そうですね。渾身の力をふりしぼって打ち鳴らす姿には、楽しむと言うよりは息をのむような緊張感で圧倒されてしまう感じも確かにありました。体力、気力が充実していないとできないと思います。日本の武術に通じるものがあるのでしょうね。それも含めて、太鼓の響きに私は惹かれます。



  13. ¸.•°♡♡⊱彡



    Ƴ░Є░ƛ░Ʀ░ !


  14. Cosmos I love the way you describe this.Thanks for the video,the performance looks and sounds wonderful. Maybe it will come our way some time!

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year,


  15. Hello, cosmos.

    Happy New year.


  16. あけましておめでとうございます。



  17. Magia, Ruby, Ruma, Happy New Year! May this year be happy healthy fruitful for all of you.


  18.  こんばんは。猫がお好きなのですか。鼓童も素晴らしいですね。

    1. こんばんは。猫はボランティアさんに手厚く保護されていたのを引き取ったものです。3年前に前の猫を20年くらい飼って亡くしてからは、もう飼わないと思っていたのですが、縁あって。いたづら猫ですが可愛いです^^ 和太鼓演奏は、以前から是非聞いてみたいと思っていたので、念願かないました。


  19. Passei para uma visitinha!!!!
    ░ Beijinhos do Brasil. ✿⊱彡


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