Experience Japan Kids Taiko Team
Meet the Experience Japan Kids’ Taiko Drum Team! They are a group of around 20 Irish-Japanese children aged from six to fourteen who play traditional Japanese Taiko drums. They are trained by UCD students of Japanese language and culture and are supported by the Japanese community in Ireland. The group was formed six years ago and is proving very popular, receiving many invitations to perform in public. All the team members have grown up in Ireland and attend Japanese school on Saturday mornings. Taiko drumming is very popular with them as it allows them to meet their friends and appreciate and perform a traditional Japanese art form. Taiko is an ancient form of Japanese drumming and there are now thousands of Taiko groups all over Japan. The Experience Japan Taiko Team wear traditional colourful Japanese costumes made up of a Happi (jacket), Obi (belt) and Hachimaki (headband). The UCD Japanese Language Coordinator and EJ Committee Member Nobuko Ijichi is the main 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.