Monday, November 10, 2014


Here's an interesting little clip.  I'd never heard of Cobu before a few weeks ago when Uniqlo started having taiko groups play at various store openings in the U.S.

Cobu is composed of Japanese women but based out of New York.  They have some really interesting choreography and very good chops as a group.  I want to see more of their performances to decide where I stand, but so far I like what I see.

During this clip I was wondering how many people think of something like this video when they refer to "Japanese taiko"?  There are a lot of people who want to go to Japan to study taiko, but what about studying with groups that are doing much more contemporary stuff like this?  It's still Japanese taiko, but I'll bet there are many groups like Cobu doing interesting stuff like this at a quality level.

I like that people want to know where taiko came from, but I wonder what would happen to the "taiko scene" if more people wanted to study taiko from more contemporary Japanese groups that are pushing the art form rather than the more "traditional" ones?

I wonder if North American taiko will see groups more like this emerge from NA players - groups that explore a very different style and energy than what's being done now.  We definitely have groups that have a distinct style here now, but it's a comparatively small number.  Will groups like Cobu help push the next generation of taiko?  Or will people continue to prefer more festival or "traditional" styles of taiko?

I'll get back to this post in 30 years and we'll talk about what's happened.  :)

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