During the time I lived in Hokkaido, the north island of Japan, ten years ago, my fascination with Taiko drumming began. The powerful, rhythmic drumming and the creative choreography swept me away at festival after festival. In Hokkaido, I was lucky enough to teach at a Junior High School that had a drumming club, so once every few months I would get to go to the After School Club. Granted, I`m not particularly musical and had to learn the same easy song over each time over the three years, but I loved it each time!
December 2014, I took a housesitting gig in Kelowna, BC, and had a week by myself in the city and decided to connect using Meetup with some people – a hiking group, and a Japanese group… I thought I was going one night to watch taiko drumming, but ended up actually participating in a workshop. And it all came back! The group referred me to the taiko group in Victoria, Uminari (roaring sea) Taiko, which has been running since 2002.
I took a two month course with Uminari Taiko and loved it – especially the performing part. Once I`m comfortable with a piece, I love to perform for an audience. Taiko is a bit of a challenge for me in regards to my memory as well as rhythmically, but I certainly love it. The group in Canada recommended wearing ear plugs and I concur, that’s the way to go. … After my first class without earplugs, my ears rang for three days, so got some decent ones from the hardware store and not a ringing after in the two months! Yahoo….
When it was confirmed I was coming to visit Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan for two months, I asked my friend, Katie, who I`m staying with to look into place I might be able to watch some taiko.
One of my friends found a drumming group and investigated for me. There is a Monday evening adult class, and a children`s (really its all ages) class on Friday nights. My friend offered to take me to the first class with her 4 year old daughter. Turns out several children in Her Preschool go to the Taiko class, so it was delightful for Them to be there as well.
So… Friday nights I am drumming up a storm. An hour and a half of drumming almost straight isn`t exactly something my arms were used to, so I rested a few times, and have had sore muscles ever since (its now Wednesday).
I`m feeling grateful for this opportunity and excited about the exercise and strengthening of my arms all while listening and creating beautiful taiko beats!!!
Sure do love my life!
My mini Taiko performance in Victoria after two month course with Uminari Taiko.