A “principally-based” taiko group in England creating a global taiko community

Experiencing discrimination as a child Feeling empowered by taiko Taiko as self-expression Sense of lineage between Sansei and Issei through Taiko Learning from and appreciating the Nisei experience Diverse membership in San Jose Taiko Bringing Japanese American taiko to Japan A “principally-based” taiko group in England creating a global taiko community

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Having the experience of going to England in December, last year, and seeing one of our—he was not a performing member, he was only a training member in 1996 to ’97. Jonathan Kirby was just so taken by the Taiko experience, learning with San Jose Taiko, that he was inspired to need to start a Taiko group in England once he went back. He realized that he could never be culturally-based because he’s not Japanese, not Japanese American. None of his members are Japanese or Asian. And yet he said, “We exist because we are principally-based.” And he’s taken San Jose Taiko principles as the basis of why they play Taiko. Because we feel that we are empowered by our experiences in the culture of which we grew up with, he felt that that’s a perfect way for him to take the drum and also start to learn about his own English background and infuse with his creativity through composing music that really became very English inspired. But he’s there using the rudiments of principle, of philosophy of how he works as a group, how he is able to operate his organization. That’s part of the global community.

Date: January 26, 2005
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Art Hansen, Sojin Kim
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

arts community england jonathan kirby music san jose taiko taiko

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