International Taiko Workshops in Japan
Our Taiko Courses for International Students are held once a year in April at the Kurumaya Taiko Dojo in Fukui, Japan.
Fukui is part of the Hokuriku Prefecture which is also well known for being the “Hotbed of Taiko”
The Courses progress from basic training in stance, posture, rhythm and mind/ body technique through awareness of the self, the group and the feel of the Taiko. As the group gathers momentum through learning and hands on experience, more complex Taiko compositions and technique can be learned.
During the Courses, emphasis will also be placed on the spiritual and cultural origins of Taiko and on the mental and physical focus and discipline involved in learning about this ancient art form.
The Taiko technique is based on the Hokuriku style of Taiko which is well known for the Mitsu Uchi base rhythm, one of the most challenging and ultimately complex rhythms to understand and learn. The Hokuriku Prefecture style of Taiko is famous for its ‘Ad Lib’ style of playing where players can freely express themselves to create a colourful, highly energetic and visually spectacular display.
The International Course consists of:-
Introductory Course which runs for 5 days (Monday~Friday) and is designed as an introduction to Taiko, fundamental technique and basics of Japanese drumming
Intermediate 5 day Course runs the following week (Monday~Friday). This Course is for all those who have completed previous Courses at the Kurumaya Taiko Dojo and as a continuation Course for those completing the Introductory Course.
Professional and semi-professional Taiko players, familiar with different styles may apply for direct entry into the Intermediate Course.
Kurumaya Masaaki has over 40 years Taiko experience as both a Performer and Teacher. His performances have taken him throughout Japan with his group Hibiki Daiko and internationally in the US, Italy, France and the UK.
He was the guiding force of Mugenkyo (the UK’s first professional Taiko Group), performing at over 300 concerts throughout the UK and Europe in 1998/9 with them, culminating in a Japan Festival Award in London in 1999.
In 2001 he designed and built a purpose built Dojo to dedicate his life to teaching and training students in the art of Taiko-Do. His regular students include schoolchildren, adults and foreign residents in Japan. He still continues to travel worldwide teaching and performing. Kurumaya Sensei teaches Kyo Shin Do in Italy.
‘Ki’ – the Japanese concept of ‘Ki’ (Life Force) is central to Kurumaya Sensei’s teachings. It forms the basis of his passionate, dynamic and intuitive technique.
Liz Walters has performed and taught Taiko for over 14 years. As a former member of Mugenkyo for three years, Liz studied under Taiko master Kurumaya-Sensei and has appeared with Kurumaya Sensei on Japanese National TV NHK on several occasions.
Liz has toured extensively both inside and outside Europe with world music artists Joji Hirota, Peter Lockett and Chinese flautist Guo Yue and with her own group, Tamashii Taiko Drummers.
She set up the Tamashii School of Taiko in 2001 for all those wishing to enter the world of Taiko and teaches Taiko variously throughout the UK in a personable, friendly, sincere and inspiring manner.
She also facilitates public and school Workshops & Classes throughout the UK and is one of the teachers of Kyo Shin Do in Italy.
Liz continues to return to Fukui annually to help facilitate the International Courses and to continue her Taiko training with Kurumaya Sensei.