on the Art of Taiko
became aware of the power of taiko back in grade school when I saw the
Shumei Ensemble perform. Although just a child, I was deeply moved and
from that time on wanted to be like the performers I saw on stage that
day. When I was seventeen, I joined a taiko study group and six years
later went to live at Misono
in the hope that one day I would be a member of the Ensemble. My decision
to come to Misono was very much bound up with taiko. Looking back, that
decision is what made me what I am today. I applied myself very hard
to do the hoshi
that is required at Misono, for I knew that through this work the chance
to play taiko eventually would open itself up to me.
As for the Ensemble, technique is necessary, but faith is also very
important. I learned that what we accumulated in our daily lives emerges
when we perform on stage and that is what moves people's hearts when
they hear and see us. This does not only happen on stage but in all
parts of our lives. This is one of the most precious things I have learned
since being with the Ensemble.
There is a moment that occurs when I realize that I have just jumped
over one of those invisible hurdles that present themselves in life.
It is a moment of growth. In such moments, I really feel the presence
Recently, I have begun to feel just how strongly the power of thought
affects our future. If a person is struggling with the desire to be
or do something, yet has not succeeded, it is because his or her thoughts
are weak. If a person truly wants something, they will achieve it. They
will not be struggling over whether or not to do it, they will have
already done it. The point is to buckle down.
In 1999 at the Parliament of World Religions in South Africa, we played
after speeches given by a number of renowned people, among them the
former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and His Holiness the
14th Dalai Lama. I wondered how the audience would react to us after
hearing from such famous people. After our performance there was loud
applause from the audience. "This is a miracle", I thought. I could
feel the emotions of the people in the audience. I knew then that God
had accepted our desires and had given us the necessary energy to fulfill
them. Moving people's hearts is the work of God.
Though I am by nature a show off, I prefer to train strictly as a part
of an ensemble, a group of people who are always thinking of each other.
I would much rather work this way than as one person doing the same
thing as the fellow next to him. I want to elevate myself personally
through taiko for the sake of the whole Ensemble.