The Fukuoka-based, globally active traditional Japanese musical troupe, Japan Marvelous Drummers, performed concerts at five schools in Kyushu, Japan.
May 13 (Mon): Minamiaso Muraritsu Minamiaso Middle School
May 14 (Tues): Mifune Choritsu Nanataki Central Elementary School
May 15 (Wed): Fukuoka Prefecture Yanagawa Shiritsu Fujiyoshi Elementary School
May 16 (Thurs): Saga Prefecture Genkai Choritsu Genkai Mirai Academy
May 17 (Fri): Saga Prefecture Imari Shiritsu Imari Elementary School
Students responded to the perfectly syncopated drumming performance by clapping along and cheering, and the whole venue was enthralled by the show. Many participants also came forward for the hands-on drumming experience session. Each audience reveled in the power and appeal of Japan’s traditional instruments on display by Japan Marvelous Drummers.
According to Japan Marvelous Drummers’ leader Nishiguchi, “Every single moment of the children’s surprised faces, their smiles, and their applause energizes us. That’s why we put everything into our performances. School concerts are a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and through Japanese taiko drumming, we hope to demonstrate just how impressive traditional Japanese music can be.”
The village of Minamiaso and the town of Mifune are in an area of Kumamoto Prefecture that is still working to recover from a previous earthquake, and the troupe received many deeply moving comments after the concerts held there. A boy who participated in trying out the taiko drums told us, “Today’s concert made me realize that when we’re sad or hurting, music is always there to encourage us.”