MEO photos by Luis Silva

Great photos by Luis Silva _ a video-journalist/photographer/artist who creates We All Japan _ from the recent Noh stage concert by Isaku Kageyama and his Mother Earth Orchestra.

At One With Brazil

Amanojaku’s Yoichi Watanabe and Isaku Kageyama are now in Brazil to share the joy of taiko.
“Kizuna” was co-written by Watanabe and the late Daihachi Oguchi of Osuwa Daiko for the 100th anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil, celebrated June 21,
2008 by a performance of 1,000 Brazilian taiko drummers.
The first four minutes of the piece is trademark Oguchi, and then the song breaks into Amanojaku-style taiko that is totally and distinctly Watanabe.
Below is video of a group in Brazil performing “Kizuna” in December:

And this is the same song performed by Amanojaku and students in Japan:

Amanojaku traveled to Brazil 6 times during 2004-2008, teaching more than 600 Japanese-Brazilian youngsters.
The performance was attended by 37,000 people, including Crown Prince Naruhito.
“Kizuna” means “bond” in Japanese _ what is in our heritage and our blood that transcends boundaries and the passage of time to connect people in spirit.
Amanojaku has continued to go to Brazil to teach in 2009 _ and now in 2010.

Amanojaku Taiko Workshops

Taiko group Amanojaku, led by Yoichi Watanabe, is offering workshops in Tokyo.
Odaiko (big drum)
FRI July 4, FRI July 18, FRI Aug. 22 and FRI Aug. 29, 2008.
7 pm – 8:30 pm
Working at the Basics
SAT July 5, SAT July 19, SAT Aug. 23 and SAT Aug. 30, 2008.
3 pm-4:30 pm
8,400 yen per month (two lessons).
All at Taikonosato Kyouwakan near Yutenji station on Tokyu Toyoko Line.

Amanojaku in Concert
Aug. 13, 2008 7 p.m. and Aug. 14, 2008 2 p.m.
Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Japanese Immigration to Brazil
An event that promises to be a bold statement of legacy and vision, the concert will feature the Japan premiere of “Kizuna,” in Brazil by 1000 drummers for the centenary celebration in June.
Special guests Kyosuke Suzuki (yokobue flute) and Katsunari Sawada (shamisen)
At Nerima Bunka Center TEL: 03-3993-3311
Advance Tickets: 4,000 yen
Door Tickets: 4,500 yen.
All seats non-reserved.
Ticket Pia –  P-Code: 293-971 TEL: 0570-02-9999
Amanojaku TEL: 03-3904-1745 FAX: 03-3904-9434

From One Drummer to a Thousand Drummers

My son Isaku Kageyama is in Sao Paulo now as part of the centenary celebrations of Japanese immigration in Brazil _ home to the biggest Japanese population outside Japan.
Taiko drumming group Amanojaku, which takes traditional festival sounds to deliver modern concert-level music, got a standing ovation for their performance there earlier this week.
The English language Asahi did a story about the trip.
This is from Isaku on his blog:

Today was one of the biggest concerts of my life, and a day that I will never forget. When we finished playing and the audience jumped up and started clapping – I thought all our work in Brazil over the past 5 years had truly been worthwhile.

I saw a number of familiar faces in the audience, and it gave me the energy I needed.

Of course there were a number of imperfections, but we managed to pull through. The imperfections were primarily in relation to tempo and lack of responding properly to minor mistakes.

Generally speaking, good rehearsals are designed to iron out mistakes so that they don’t happen in the first place – but they also give players an opportunity to anticipate the types of mistakes so that they can respond to them in a timely and appropriate manner.

The gig is now history, and now we will focus on Saturday’s Sennin Daiko, and the big gigs we have coming up back in Japan.

CONCERTS in Japan:

Wed., August 13, 2008 19:00 (Doors open at 18:30)
Thu., August 14, 2008 14:00 (Doors open at 13:30)
Nerima Bunka Center
AMANOJAKU TAIKO DRUMMERS with Kyosuke Suzuki (yokobue flute) and Katsunari Sawada (shamisen)
Advance Tickets: JPY 4000, Door Tickets: JPY 4500
Ticket Pia –  P-Code: 293-971
TEL: 0570-02-9999
Amanojaku -
TEL: 03-3904-1745 FAX: 03-3904-9434

SAPPORO, Hokkaido
July 13, 2008 at 12:30 (Doors open at 12:00)
12th Nippon Taiko Festival
AMANOJAKU appears with other guest taiko groups including Osuwa Daiko.
Sapporo Education and Culture Hall
Advance Tickets JPY 2500, Door Tickets JPY 3000
Ticket Sales: Ticket Pia TEL 0570-02-9999+Pコード(290-857)
Contact: Nippon Taiko Foundation TEL 03-6229-5577

OHAMA, Yamagata Prefecture
July 27, 2008 at 18:00 (Doors open 17:00)
AMANOJAKU appears with Osuwa Daiko, Oedo Sukeroko Taiko, Chichibu Yatai Bayashi, Choshi Hanedaiko and others.
Kan Nihon-kai Taiko Festival
Ohama Seashore Stage
Advance Tickets JPY 2000, Door Tickets 2500
Contact: Kan Nihon-kai Taiko Festival Organization Office TEL 0234-26-0381

KURASHIKI, Okayama Prefecture
August 3, 2008 at 18:30
Starring AMANOJAKU with local groups in 3rd Japan Taiko Festival
Kurashiki TIVOLI Park “Plaenen Stage”
Just get an admission ticket to TIVOLI Park!
Contact: Kurashi TIVOLI Park Information Center TEL 086-434-1111

Contact Isaku at Amanojaku 03-3904-1745 or email:

And search for “amanojaku” on iTunes Music Store, Napster,, and other online music distributors.