Roy Hirabayashi

(b.1951) Co-founder and managing director of San Jose Taiko.

Celebrating traditional Japanese New Years with family Learning Japanese at school and at home with family Developing an original kata Introducing Taiko in Vancouver The philosophy of playing Taiko Defining a Taiko player

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Roy Hirabayashi, managing director and co-founder of San Jose Taiko, was born in Berkeley, California in 1951 to kibei parents. The middle of five children, he was raised in Oakland, California. After graduating from high school in 1969, he attended San Jose State University where he received degrees in psychology and philosophy.

He has worked for the San Jose State University Asian American Studies Program, Japanese American Citizens League, the Pacific Asian Coalition, and the Buddhist Churches of America. It was through his work with the YBA (Young Buddhists of America) that he became involved with taiko. Reverend Hiroshi Abiko of San Jose Buddhist Church asked Dean Miyakusu and him to start something for the youth after being inspired by Kinnara Taiko. They started the group and it has since evolved into one of the most influential taiko groups in the Americas. (January 26, 2005)

culture family holidays new year's education language kata ondekoza san jose san jose taiko seiichi tanaka taiko katari taiko music powell street festival vancouver identity asano asano taiko

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

The Nippon Foundation