Experience Japan Kids Taiko Team
The Experience Japan Kids Taiko Drum Team is a group of some 20 Irish-Japanese children (6-14 years) who are trained by UCD students of Japanese language and culture and are supported by the Japanese community in Ireland. The group was formed 6 years ago and is proving very popular with many invitations to perform in public. All the team members have grown up in Ireland attending a Japanese school each Saturday morning. But taiko drumming has proven very popular with them as it allows them to meet their friends and appreciate and perform the Japanese art of drumming. Taiko is an ancient form of Japanese drumming and there are now thousands of Taiko teams all over Japan especially for young people. The Taiko drummers wear traditional colourful Japanese costumes a Happi (jacket), Obi (belt) and Hachimaki (headband). The UCD Japanese Language Coordinator Nobuko Ijichi is the main taiko drum instructor for the children and the other EJ Taiko Groups.
This piece is formally called “Miyake-jima Kamitsuki Mikoshi Daiko”. The word ‘Miyake’ comes from Miyake-jima which is an island of the Izu Island chain located 180km south of Tokyo. The style of Miyake Taiko has developed as music for Gozo Tenno Sai — a traditional festival held every July in Miyake-jima since 1820. In this festival, they continuously perform Miyake Taiko from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. while leading their mikoshi portable shrine which they carry all around their city. The Experience Japan Kids Taiko Team love this traditional joyous style of drumming which they practice regularly.
Yuugi is comprised of three sections (Nagado Taiko, Tsukeshime Taiko and Katsugioke Taiko). The Experience Japan Kids Taiko Team perform the first part — Nagado Taiko. Then Kei and Adam, core members of the main adult Experience Japan Taiko Team, play the Katsugioke Taiko section separately.