• Taiko Drumming: The Heartbeat of Japan

    Getting to Know Japan Webinar (via Zoom) -- Thursday, February 9 2023 at 1900 (JST)


    Taiko has been an integral part of Japanese culture for centuries now. Taiko performances have made their way into military demonstrations, the imperial court, religious rituals, festivals, and have even found a place overseas, as a way for the Japanese diaspora to connect to their culture. Join us for an introduction to the history of taiko: our guest speakers will give a 30-minute presentation, followed by a 30-minute Q&A session.


    To join use this link to register with Zoom

    You will need the link and passcode provided in the confirmation email.

    This event is a part of YCAPS' "Getting to Know Japan Series" co-sponsored by The United States-Japan Foundation (USJF).


    Cassie Guevara is a project manager from the suburbs of New York who has been playing taiko for over 13 years. She saw her first taiko performance in middle school and immediately fell in love with the powerful sound and vibrations from the drums. As a freshman at Oberlin College she became a member of performance group OCTaiko, and eventually became co-chair and taught taiko to other students and community members. Since moving to Tokyo in 2013 Cassie has been a pupil of Oedo Sukeroku Taiko, a group that is considered to be the first professional taiko ensemble and whose style has strongly influenced taiko performers around the world. Cassie has also played the handheld shime daiko in an eisa group (Okinawan folk dance). In addition to playing taiko for fun, she is the president of an international singing group called Tokyo Embassy Choir.


    J.D. Andrade, a native of the suburbs of Chicago, has been playing taiko, or Japanese drumming, for over 16 years. He first started taiko as a member of Gendo Taiko at Brown University, and in 2012, he moved to Honolulu after being awarded a fellowship to study under world-renowned Kenny Endo. Upon moving to Japan in 2014, J.D. began playing taiko professionally in the Kanto area, and began his journey into the traditional performing arts. In addition to taiko, J.D. studies matsuri-bayashi (festival music) under Kyosuke Suzuki of the Wakayama Taneo Shachu and kabuki-bayashi (traditional Japanese drumming) under the esteemed Saburo Mochizuki. In 2019, J.D. became the first foreigner of non-Japanese descent to ever be awarded a stage name, or natori, in kabuki-bayashi. His stage name is Mukon Mochizuki (望月武懇). During his time in Japan, J.D. has had the pleasure of performing in a variety of notable venues such as the National Theatre and Suntory Hall.




    Format: This event will be off-the-record. Questions are encouraged. It will not be recorded.

    Registration: Required Link
    Moderators: Lucy Amaral

    Webinar Cost: Free of charge

    Co-sponsors: United States-Japan Foundation