New Message from the director Kaoru Watanabe:

Happy New Year to all my fellow taiko drummers and fue players!

2016 was a milestone for me personally and it came and went without me even realizing it: Ten years ago, I left Japan and started a new life in Brooklyn, NY in 2006.

I had actually made my decision to leave Kodo in 2005. I told Ryutaro Kaneko on the ferry ride back to Sado after a Spring tour of my decision to leave and his response, I remember clearly was: 遂に来たか (So finally the time has come!). This was about a month before my directorial debut of Earth Celebration, a big annual festival where Kodo hosts groups from all over the world for collaborations and Ryutaro san recommended two things: 1) I wait until after Earth Celebration to make the announcement 2) if I really wanted to do things right by Kodo, I should stretch my transition out for about a year.

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