There is an athletic side to it and there is music, says Moko-san Igarashi, taiko master and the founder of Miyabi Arashi school in Tokyo. It’s very much a team effort and has always been rooted in community life.
Taiko drumming dates back to ancient times and began as a primitive means of communication: first a battlefield instrument used to intimidate the enemy, motivate troops, call out orders. Later it evolved and began being used during religious ceremonies, festivals, concerts, theater performances.
Taiko, which had its origins in the Asian folklore, most likely arrived into Honshu from Korea and China in the 6th century. Since then however, drums evolved into quintessentially Japanese instruments.
Ms. Moko notes that, the unique style comes from the movement performed by farmers -- they keep their hip low as they are spreading the seeds around a vast area with their hands. The front-and-back movements on the other hand, are related to fishing. The players are like the fishers who line up along the edge of the boat, casting their big nets into the sea and then pulling it back through a collective effort.
Miyabi Arashi – the name of Moko-san’s school – means “elegant storm.” It is very elegant. And powerful.
As I was watching the performance in my daughter’s school a few days ago, the water in the glass standing on the table next to me started shaking (not less than during the earthquake we experienced a few days before)!!!
I was amazed how beautiful the movements of the performers were! And the sounds – you almost feel they are palpable. There is so much beautiful energy in the room and it penetrates you.
Thank you Moko-san! We can’t wait for more.