By Misa Murohashi, translated by Bruce Rutledge,
Japan Creative Arts has been bringing taiko and other traditional forms of Japanese art and entertainment to the Seattle region since 2014 in the form of the World Taiko Festival. The fourth annual event will be held this March 3 in Bellevue, and will feature a special guest from Japan, Miyake Geinou Doshikai (Miyake Taiko).
Miyake Taiko is the creation of Akio Tsumura, born on Miyake Island in the Izu archipelago, and his three sons, Kazuhiro, Hidenori and Haruyoshi. Every July on Miyake Island, a summer festival is held complete with portable shrines and traditional mikoshi taiko drums. The drumming is known for its full-bodied approach where drummers keep a low posture and use the momentum of their bodies to hit the taiko with gusto. Akio has been performing in that summer festival for 40 years. After the volcanic eruption on the island in 2000, he moved to Tokyo, where he continues to teach his sons and create stage performances of mikoshi taiko.
“The Miyake Taiko performance is a recreation of a Japanese festival,” said Asako Tateishi, president of Japan Creative Arts. The audience at a Miyake Taiko performance gets involved, chanting “Wasshoi!” and the line between the entertainers and the crowd dissolves, replicating a festival on Miyake Island. “In previous performances at the Taiko Festival, everyone was able to enjoy the dancing and performances. This time, four people will lead the festival. We hope people get that uplifting feeling,” she added.
The Cascade Taiko Drummers, featuring Ringtaro and Asako Tateuchi, will also perform on that day. Ringtaro toured the US and played at Disney with the Onedekoza group, He has been based out of Seattle since 2009. On March 4, the day after the performance, the members of Miyake Taiko will lead a workshop.
4th Annual Bellevue World Taiko Festival
Date: Saturday March 3rd
Time: 2:00pm / 7:00pm *two performances on the same date
Venue: Bellevue HS Performing Arts Center 10416 SE Wolverine Way, Bellevue
Ticket: Adult $38 / Children and Students under 22 years old $25
Contact: Asako Tateichi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Information: 4th Annual Bellevue World Taiko Festival