Alaska, Announcements, Arts, Events

2012 Seward Festival Artist Profile ~ Tomodachi Daiko


Tomodachi Daiko, Inc. (TDI) was founded in the summer of 2000. Sachiko Kono and Miyuki Imai were encouraged to by Anchorage School District (ASD) World Language Coordinator Janice Gullickson to start a taiko program to enrich the Japanese Immersion Program and Anchorage community. Funds through an ASD-attained grant called Kachuko helped fund the group’s start.

Several people assisted to establish Tomodachi Daiko by helping to build the first Alaskan-made taiko drums and training the instructors. They include Consul General Tsujimoto, San Francisco Taiko Dojo Grand Master Seichi Tanaka, General Manager, Mr. Ryuma Tanaka, Director, Mrs. Heidi Varian, and David Gonzales. Since the groups’ inception, TDI has learned many songs from Tokyo-based Japanese taiko group Chokoma Leaders, Mr. Katsuo Suzuki, Mrs. Sachiko Fujiwara, and Mr. Naoyuki Furuta.

Since it’s founding, Tomodachi Daiko has built more than 30 drums and has grown to more than 100 members. Tomodachi Daiko is a diverse group of drummers of all abilities ranging from eight years olds to adults.

In November 2007, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) granted TDI tax-exempt status under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Therefore, all gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Mission Statement


The mission of the TDI is to promote cultural interaction, educational opportunities, and physical fitness using and performing with taiko drums. Our name Tomodachi Daiko, means “friends of taiko drumming.” It is also our mission to extend friendship and bring awareness of cultural diversity and traditional arts to our audience. Taiko drumming, a traditional Japanese art form dating back thousands of years, showcases unity in song, movement and spirit with its power and energy.



Saturday, September 29th, 2012; 4:15PM for more info


One Comment

  1. This group was one of the highlights of the festival last year for us. Their energy was awesome…don’t miss it if you don’t have to.