Taiko in the United States

Big Drum: Taiko in the United States (2005) was the first major museum exhibition about taiko in America. The exhibition explored how the development of taiko in this country reflects the resilience of cultural traditions, the historical journeys of Japanese Americans, and the cultivation of new diverse communities.

 

Big Drum: Taiko in the U.S. (intro video)

A highlight reel of taiko groups across America, featuring San Francisco Taiko Dojo, San Jose Taiko, Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble, Soh Daiko, Hawaii Matsuri Taiko, Venice Koshin Taiko, Shasta Taiko, Zenshuji Zendeko, TAIKOPROJECT, and others.

Produced by Akira Boch, Sojin Kim, Masaki Miyagawa, Ann Kaneko
8 minutes

Watch with Japanese subtitles. WATCH NOW

 

Big Drum: Taiko in the United States

With its thunderous rhythms and high energy, taiko is a powerful and enormously popular style of group drumming. BIG DRUM: Taiko in the United States features America’s taiko pioneers and documents—through interviews and rare film and video footage—the ongoing transformation of this dynamic performing art.

Produced by Akira Boch, Sojin Kim, Masaki Miyagawa, Ann Kaneko
25 minutes

Watch with Japanese subtitles. WATCH NOW

 

Making American Taiko

How do you play taiko if you live in America and don’t have access to Japanese taiko drums? This short documentary explores the ingenuity and determination of American taiko groups during the late ’60s and early ’70s that led to the creation of homemade taiko drums and sparked a cultural revolution.

Produced by Akira Boch, Sojin Kim, Masaki Miyagawa, Ann Kaneko
12 minutes

Watch with Japanese subtitles. WATCH NOW

 

Gathering of Joy

Taiko in the United States has its roots in the many obon celebrations throughout the country. This short film features bon odori events at Mantokuji Soto Mission (Paia, Hawai‘i), Senshin Buddhist Temple (Los Angeles), and Denver Buddhist Temple.

Produced by Akira Boch, Sojin Kim, Masaki Miyagawa, Ann Kaneko
6 minutes

Watch with Japanese subtitles. WATCH NOW

 

This production is available for purchase at the JANM Store with bonus content.  BUY NOW

 

Q&A livestreamed on July 24, 2020, with curator Sojin Kim, filmmaker Akira Boch, and featured performers Kenny Endo (Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble), Kay Fukumoto (Maui Taiko), Teddy Yoshikami (Soh Daiko), PJ Hirabayashi (Artistic Director Emeritus, San Jose Taiko).

 

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