Video footage of a recent Amanojaku concert in Brazil.
“Kaiun” by Yoichi Watanabe.
Players from left to right:
Mayumi Kawana, Isaku Kageyama, Hiromi Ogawa, Yoichi Watanabe.
Yoichi Watanabe, master taiko drummer and the leader of Tokyo taiko group Amanojaku, wrote “Kaiun” after he lost both his father and mother within a scope of about a year.
Like many Japanese, Watanabe has a tight family (both his sons are fantastic taiko drummers), and he was very close to his parents.
The sorrow was a crushing burden that was visible to anyone who saw him those days.
His own health suffered, and he was hospitalized.
But like all great artists, he found in his ordeal a vital force for this composition that is not only about the kind of person his parents always taught him to be _ humbly enduring but always with integrity and vision _ but also about the message of hope and prayer for everyone.
“Kaiun” means “good fortune” in Japanese.
People use the phrase when they wish good luck to others in the same way people in the West say, “God bless you.”
“Kaiun” is a powerful spiritual statement of art’s transcendence over death and a man’s sense of mission to pass on a musical legacy to future generations.
It is a universal statement about how we can never defeat death but how art can give us eternity.
If you want to see “Kaiun” with a better camera angle, please order the Amanojaku DVD from the online store:
It has all the greatest Amanojaku tunes, including “Bujin” (seen in the YouTube upload below), “Dotoh,” “Kagura” and others.
A must buy for all taiko fans and students.