Taiko Without Borders

European Taiko Players


The Same River – Taiko Without Borders

When the Coronavirus pandemic struck in early 2020, taiko classes everywhere were cancelled. While it was clearly sad that we could not play together in person, Zoom technology opened up the possibility of connecting with people remotely and having online classes that could be joined not only by people who were geographically local, but anyone who was in a time zone that was more or less convenient. We could have, in effect, taiko without borders.
Jonathan Kirby ran a five-week course in April/May 2020, attracting more than 50 people from 8 different countries, teaching a composition called “The Same River”. At the end of the course, many of the participants agreed to contribute video of themselves playing “The Same River” at home, on whatever kind of drum they could find. This video is the result.


The Way of the Drum – Taiko without Borders


The idea that taiko can be accessible to everyone and enjoyable for all is central to the principles by which Jonathan has always taught taiko. These principles are explained in The Way of the Drum – Taiko without Borders through the telling of the story of the development of taiko in the UK and Europe from the perspective of Kagemusha Taiko. These are not just ideas – they work in practice.