Since I went to my first International Taiko Festival 15 years ago, I always have hoped to photograph the event one day. I was fortunately enough to photograph one of the Japanese premiere taiko groups Shidara at their North America tour earlier this year, and last week, I fullfilled my dream of photographing the International Taiko Festival at Zellerbach Hall.
I still need to process most of the photos, and as always, photographing taiko performances is challenging, with the low light level, the constant motion of the performers, and sometimes there are a lot of performers! Nevertheless, here are a few pictures to get started. When I am done, they will probably be uploaded to the http://imagecraft.wordpress.com site.
The San Francisco Taiko Dojo “Dream Team” is aptly named. They are some of the best taiko players in America. I have seen them play a number of times and they really outdid themselves at this festival.
O’ Sensei (Grandmaster) Seiichi Tanaka started the taiko movement in America 40 years ago. Almost everyone playing taiko in America today can trace their lineages back to him:
At the end of the evening, they played their signature piece “Tsunami”, celebrating the indefatigable human spirit in the face of challenges.