Performing Saturday September 28th; 3:45pm
Tomodachi Daiko, Inc., (TDI) was founded in the summer of 2000. Sachiko Kono and Miyuki Imai were encouraged 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.
Since its founding, Tomodachi Daiko has built more than 30 drums and has grown to more than 100 members, a diverse group composed of drummers of all abilities and ages.
Several people assisted in establishing 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 group’s inception, TDI has learned many songs from Tokyo-based Japanese taiko group Chokoma, whose leaders include Mr. Katsuo Suzuki, Mrs. Sachiko Fujiwara, and Mr. Naoyuki Furuta. In 2005 and again in 2008, TDI hosted a local joint taiko concert in conjunction with Chokoma. The two concerts proved to be popular! Look for the next summer joint taiko concert featuring the TDI drummers and members of Chokoma in August 2013.
The mission of 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.
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