Oedo Sukeroku Taiko


Sukeroku Taiko; the very first taiko ensemble in Tokyo

The Birth of Sukeroku style drumming :

Summer in Japan cannot be explained without Bon-odori-festival.
In 1956, Seido Kobayashi, born in Hongo, the Tokyo downtown area, first played Bon-taiko drum in the year of twelve. He won the first prize at the first Bon-taiko contest held at Yushima Tenjin Shrine. Later he and the contest winners got together on the request of Minoru Sanada, choreographer who was aiming at creating a new music group using Japanese traditional instrument, wa-taiko. Learning under Sasazoh Kineya, they trained and built up their skilles, then formed '"Shin-On Taiko", which was the new style to transform Kabuki music into taiko performance. They were also the members of Bon taiko group "Oedo Sukeroku Kai", lead by Seikoh Kobayashi. Later the four young members*1 started their career as the first taiko ensemble in Tokyo using only taiko .It was "Sukeroku Taiko"(1967).
*1 Seido Kobayashi, Yoshihisa Ishikura, Yutaka Ishizuka and Motoe Onozato
To honor the Yushima Tenjin shrine and to preserve the tradition, they dedicated the group to the shrine.
Since the establishment of the group, the sukeroku style has spreaded throughtout Japan and overseas and gained favorable reputaion.
To enhance their activities and seek for wa-taiko music as a stage performing art, Kobayashi left Sukeroku Taiko and established "Oedo Sukeroku Taiko".


Oedo Sukeroku Taiko Music:

The music created by Oedo Sukeroku Taiko is the chic and cheerful ensembles, representing symbol of Edokko. 'Sukeroku' is the chivalrous main character of the theater piece which typifies the splender of Edokko. It's only natural that the very first drum music born in Edo(Tokyo) bear the name Sukeroku . Sukeroku style is characterized by dynamic, sharp and acrobatic movements created with whole body, and visually beautiful, stylish and elegant postures.
Oedo Sukeroku Taiko's stage is the total combination of art, sports and music.
Based on Bon taiko techniques and Kabuki music essence , the group is far different from the others. They have succeded to sublimate wa-taiko music from lacal folk art to a stage performing art. They move vigorously all over the world and gain favolable reputaion.