Past event

Taiko Taikai 2023

Our very first Taikai was a whirlwind of emotions. Initially we weren’t sure how the community would react to a new event like this, and so initial planning was done on a strict need-to-know basis. Even on announcement day we weren’t sure what the reaction would be like, and we were very relieved when it was enthusiastic! Dozens of taiko practitioners from around the world submitted audition videos (well, mostly in the US but one from Japan, so that’s something!) using the rubric and notation provided to them. Even in the videos, you could feel how sincerely they were approaching their audition. Judges gave feedback for every participant in order for them to prepare as best as they could.

What was truly special, and a clear sign that we were in line with our goals, was seeing the clear difference of player abilities between their audition video and their final day performance. It far exceeded what the judges were expecting, and several of them stated their surprise at the degree of improvement from the time of their audition to their live performance. Truly, the idea that healthy competition naturally spurred a natural motivation to hone personal skills couldn’t have been more clear.

Furthermore, the level of crowd support was a pleasant surprise! Being our first event, we were expecting perhaps maaaaybe 10 people might come to watch the taikai. Instead, almost every seat was filled, and the audience bathed the performers with rousing cheer and support. The intense enthusiasm from the audience was both very unexpected, and confirmed just how important this event was for the taiko community.

Compulsory Piece: Narukami (Yoshikazu Fujimoto)

Judges

  1. Ringtaro Tateishi (Ondekoza & more)
  2. Tiffany Tamaribuchi (Sacramento Taiko Dan & more)  
  3. Isaku Kageyama (Amanojaku & more)
  4. Karen Falkenstrom (Odaiko Sonora & more) 
  5. Joe Small (Eitetsu Fu-Un no Kai & more)