Thursday, August 20, 2009

Japanese Koto Concert in Philadelphia

On August 29th, 2009, Shofuso Japanese House and Garden will have a koto concert with acclaimed performer, Masayo Ishigure.

The event includes dinner, drinks and the solo recital concert of Ms. Ishigure and is limited to thirty guests. The price to be among those lucky enough to enjoy this special presentation is $70 for non-members and $60 for members.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New class opening

Fall classes at the Asian Arts Initiative.

Wednesday evenings at six p.m. starting from Wednesday, September 9th.

For additional information, please call 215.878.5097 (Shofuso- The Japanese House and Garden)
Or send an e-mail to

The class is twelve sessions long, and will cost $150/person

Space is limited to fifteen participants so call or e-mail to register soon!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

NATC thoughts


"If the ma's do not match up, you make mistakes, you don't play in time. These drums that we play, it is for the ears, not particularly for the eyes. If the MA's don't match up, you can't pass on your baton, you can't perform well. It is hard. And finally, Gods and Buddha exist inside Taiko drums. That is why they are present within shrines and temples. When we play Taiko, we are communicating with the gods, Buddha, and our ancestors." (Interviewer asks about MA and how that is really the important part (space where no playing

Yes, because the MA was together, "maniatta" (made it on time- it's a play on words)
Immortal words of DaiHachi Oguchi, father of kumi-daiko.

Two incredibly important ideas. #1 the idea that when we play taiko, we are not simply hitting a drum-head with a wooden stick. We are communicating with the gods (God, deities, kami, spirits, whatever your preference) I have seen and believe this whole heartedly. My belief comes from first-hand experience. I have seen a woman who recently heard that her mother had died play on the drum with such a spirit that no professional will probably ever match the experience I had watching her play and connect with her drum, her earth, her mother's spirit.
There is something very healing and wonderful about taiko, the community, the power of the drums, but most of all the energy we all feel, the energy we receive from the drums and from playing together as a group. Not as an individual, but as a whole spirit.

#2: MA- otherwise known as space or the rests. Some musicians, even western musicians have noted that the notes aren't important, it's the space between that sets the notes apart that makes everything possible. Timing, articulation, careful and purposeful placement of each stroke on the head of the drum, the bachi striking at exactly the right time to create the proper placement of notes and spaces...I have a long way to go in this regard, and I hope that I can someday achieve the incredible accuracy and awareness that members of On Ensemble and other similar groups have managed through careful precision in the placement of their ntoes and of course, the MA associated with them.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I am a founding member of Shofuso Taiko, which has been up and running since 2005. This blog will hopefully be a place to talk about the group, our trials and tribulations, our success, and how it all fits in with my personal experiences as a taiko player. I hope it's enjoyable!