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Published on 04.27.2016
Dako-on is a creative performance group of “wadaiko/taiko,” the Japanese percussion instruments. The Taiko drum itself has existed for long time, with evidence of them being used in Japan as early as 600 C.E., But for a long time, it has played second fiddle to other insturments, until Daihachi Oguchi established what is now called “kumi-daiko” in the1950s. Kumi-Daiko is a sort of orchestral method of taiko music. Daihachi noticed that different-sized taiko drums produce different timbers of sound, and came up with an idea to play entire arrangements with just taiko drums by combining their different timbers. When many taiko drums are played altogether in different timbers, they create an overwhelming and strong harmony, which reverberates through the listener’s ears and body. The performance is also combined with many optical elements. Different-sized taiko drums are placed regularly, and the performers are dressed in stylish and traditional costumes. Their movements are dynamic in rhythm, and some performance groups even combine the performers' voice with the music. This adds some new flair to the music. These days, Kumi-daiko performance has spread all over Japan and even abroad, where young second or third generation Japanese immigrants are looking for some activities where which they can feel their ethnic roots.
Based in Yokohama city, Kanagawa, Dako-on is one of many such performance groups in Japan, yet one of the most outstanding ones. They have composed many pieces of original music for the taiko drum, and have won prizes at numerous competitions in and outside of Japan. Yet, their main activity is holding various taiko classes at their own studio in Yokohama. Their classes range from those for small kids or handicapped children, to those for young students who are looking to become professional taiko performers. In addition, they are incredibly active in performing their music all over Japan, at concert halls, and even at schools. They think it is important to introduce their music to young students at schools so that they can learn something of traditional musical art.
If you are interested in experiencing their performances, you can check their schedule of upcoming events here: http://www.dako-on.com/Schedule2016.html