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Online Taiko Courses

At the Virtual Dojo, we provide ongoing online taiko training from introductory sessions for complete beginners through to advanced level training for experienced taiko players. Please see main webpage for full details on our online training system.

For established taiko players (non-beginners), we also offer set courses learning traditional & modern repertoire with different styles of playing. Each course is approximately 8 weeks long and consists of a weekly 75min session (including warmups & Q&A) with the cost at £60 for non-members, or a discounted £40 for current Virtual Dojo members, if already signed up to a regular course with us. Each session is recorded, and the course fee includes online access to the recorded sessions afterwards, which allows for independent study, flexibility and enables the participant to join at any time throughout the course without missing out. Additional background information and rhythms sheets are sent by email after each session, for a thorough & comprehensive learning experience. Each course corresponds with a level within the overall Dojo training system: Taiko Night / Foundation / Mugen Training - see explanation of levels here

 

INTRODUCTION TO FUKUI NO MITSU-UCHI

Fukui no Mitsu-uchi, also known as the Hokuriku style, is based around the popular DONDOKO mitsu-uchi rhythm. The course covers the basic solo patterns to build a vocabulary of Fukui-style rhythms, along with bachi sabaki movement typical of this style, and historical background & insight.

This course corresponds to the "Foundation" level of the Dojo training, and is also suitable for the "Mugen Training" participants as a supplement for the more advanced Fukui-style taught regularly at that level. The course is taught by Miyuki, head instructor at the Mugen Taiko Dojo, using the Mugen Taiko Do method. Miyuki has trained extensively with Masaaki Kurumaya Sensei, the original teacher of Mugenkyo, in Fukui and in the UK regularly from 1992 onwards until the present day.

 

INTRODUCTION TO HACHIJO-DAIKO

The Hachijo style of playing originates from Hachijo Island, one of the seven volcanic islands off of the Izu Peninsula. It is said that the style originally developed when the defeated samurai, exiled to Hachijo island, developed a way of playing to mimic the motion of brandishing their confiscated swords! Hachijo island is also one of the few areas of Japan where Taiko developed as a form of music and entertainment as opposed to religious ceremony, and for this reason, women were permitted to play, and developed their distinctive feminine style of Taiko. This course will cover both masculine and feminine styles of playing.

This course corresponds to the "Mugen Training" level of the Dojo training and will assume previous experience in Yoko-uchi (playing to the side). The course will be taught by Miyuki, head instructor at the Mugen Taiko Dojo, using the Mugen Taiko Do method. Miyuki primarily learned Hachijo from Chieko Kojima of Kodo, who collaborated and toured with Mugenkyo on two UK concert tours.

 

INTRODUCTION TO ODAIKO

This course is an introduction to the Odaiko big drum, and will cover playing technique, background information and learning a specially written Odaiko piece.

This course corresponds to the "Mugen Training" level of the Dojo training and will be taught by Miyuki, head instructor at the Mugen Taiko Dojo, using the Mugen Taiko Do method.

Miyuki learned Odaiko with various instructors: Hiroshi Motofuji from Oedo Sukeroku, Katsuji Kondo from Kodo, Art Lee from Tokara - all of whom performed as guest players with Mugenkyo - as well as Yoichi Watanabe from Amanojaku, Tiffany Tamaribuchi and Kensaku Satou (who performed Odaiko in 2021 at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics). Miyuki herself was also featured in the BBC Opening sequence of the Tokyo Olympics performing Odaiko with projected visuals.

 

INTRODUCTION TO KATSUGI STYLE

This course introduces the basics of the Katsugi style of playing (carrying an okedo drum), a Katsugi piece and solo-ing in the Katsugi style, popularised by many modern taiko groups and players and now an integral part of many taiko performances acrooss the globe

This course corresponds to the "Mugen Training" level of the Virtual Dojo training, and will be taught by Miyuki, head instructor at the Mugen Taiko Dojo, using the Mugen Taiko Do method.

 

INTRODUCTION TO YATAI-BAYASHI

This course is an introduction to the Yataibayashi style of playing, originally from Chichibu, a city 60 miles northwest of Tokyo. Yataibayashi is traditionally performed inside the ornately decorated festival floats pulled through the streets of Chichibu at the Yo-matsuri night festival held in December. Because the space inside the festival float is constricted, a method of playing sitting down originated here, which has since developed into a dramatic & strenous style for the stage. This course will cover the Yatai-bayashi technique, rhythms, including an introduction to the various instruments used, and the background to this popular traditional piece.

This course corresponds to the "Foundation" level of the Dojo training, also suitable for the "Mugen Training" level, and is taught by Miyuki, head instructor at the Mugen Taiko Dojo, using the Mugen Taiko Do method.

 

INTRODUCTION TO MIYAKE-DAIKO

This course introduces the basics of Yoko-uchi (playing to the side), through learning the traditional piece "Kamitsuki Kiyari Daiko", originally from Miyake Island. The course will also include learning the "Kiyari" song, and an introduction to Yoko-uchi solos, a feature of the modern interpretation of Miyake.

This course corresponds to the "Foundation" level of the Dojo training, also suitable for the "Mugen Training" level, and is taught by Miyuki, head instructor at the Mugen Taiko Dojo, using the Mugen Taiko Do method. Miyuki learned Miyake-Daiko in Tokyo with Tsumura Sensei from Miyake Island.

 

BUCHIAWASE

This course introduces the traditional piece "Buchiawase" originally played at a Shinto festival at the Kainan Shrine on the Miura Peninsula, Kanagawa Prefecture. At the festival, the taiko players from neighbouring villages have a drum battle, to give thanks to the gods & to pray for plentiful fishing. The rhythm increases in tempo to a dynamic finale, with athletic movement around the drum. The course includes learning the "santoko dokkoi" jiuchi base rhythm.

This course corresponds to the "Taiko Night" level of the Dojo training, can be learned by all levels of training, and will be taught by Miyuki, head instructor at the Mugen Taiko Dojo.

 

IKI IKI DAIKO

"Iki Iki" means "full of life", and expresses the joy of playing taiko. Based on the Mitsu-uchi rhythm, this piece is an uplifting festival piece and is one of the core repertoire of our "Taiko Night" group at the Dojo.

 

KITSUNE DAIKO

The Kitsune fox is a playful trickster in Japanese folklore, reflected in the playful nature of this piece, based on the "shichisan" rhythm. This piece is a fun and joyful piece and is one of the core repertoire of our "Taiko Night" group at the Dojo.

 

INFERNO

This is an intense & fiery piece, which builds into a thundering crescendo. This piece is based on the "Gobu gobu" rhythm and is one of the core repertoire of our "Taiko Night" group at the Dojo.

 

DONBURI DAIKO

This piece is based on Fukui-style "mitsu-uchi" (three-beat) rhythm: DONDOKO DONDOKO. The group plays a unison part on low-pitched Nagado drums along with a ji-uchi (base rhythm) on the high-pitched Shime drum.

The piece is named after a staple Japanese rice dish called the "Donburi", where everything is contained in an all-in-one dish: rice, protein, sauce. Similarly, this piece contains many of the basics of the mitsu-uchi style in one compact piece: basic beats DON / DOKO / KA / KARA / KI / SU , the mitsu-uchi base rhythm, the traditional intro, kamaete, movement and dynamics.

 

To sign up for courses, please email us on: info (at) taiko.co.uk

 

ONGOING REGULAR TRAINING - see here for full details

Beginners - Wednesdays at 6.30pm

Taiko Night - Wednesdays at 8pm

Foundation Group - Saturdays at 9.30am

Mugen Training - Saturdays at 11am