We recently paid a visit to Taiko Rindo – a team that received public acknowledgement from the consul general of Japan. Taiko is still getting kicked off in Australia so it’s great to see some more Taiko groups and hear their sound here! Let’s get to know them:
Q: Tell us about the origin of your name – Taiko Rindo.
A: Taiko Rindo was founded in Melbourne by our teacher, Mr Toshinori Sakamoto. From then on we were known as and operated under the name “Taiko Sydney Division”. The name comes from Kumamoto Prefecture’s “Rindo Taiko Preservation Society”.
Q: How many are in the team? Also, how often do your team practice?
A: The Sydney team has six members. We practice once a week.
Q: How is Taiko culture in Australia?
A: Taiko culture in Australia still hasn’t properly gotten off the ground since it’s still fairly new, but there are a few groups that are doing some exciting stuff! The Melbourne Rindo team has over 100 members – some of them are Australians. There are a few Taiko groups spread around in Australia and we want to bring these people together with a Taiko Festival event.
Q: What gives you the most joy when playing Taiko drums?
A: If people congratulate us after our performances, that makes me very happy. Especially if children can gather and have fun listening to our music. Also, there are a lot of people I know who had met many friends through Taiko and are thankful for the opportunity Taiko gave them.
Q: Where do you get your drums from?
A: They all come from Japan. But Australian quarantine laws are pretty strict, so most of the time we personally bring them abroad to Australia.
Q: Tell us something good about your performance.
A: Even though there are only a few members in our Sydney team, there’s great chemistry between everyone and a powerful beat in our performance. For this festival, we will definitely give an extraordinary performance for everyone!
Q: What are your expectations at the festival?
A: It would be great if we have a satisfying performance where everyone can enjoy it together. The stage is pretty big this time too! Since it’s a cultural Japanese Festival, it would also be good if we can clearly bring to Sydney the true feeling and cultural significance of festivals of Japan.
Q: What are Taiko Rindo’s goals for the future?
A: We want to share and bring more awareness to everyone about Taiko.
Q: In one sentence, please tell us what the ‘festival’ means to the Taiko Rindo.
A: This is the first time Taiko Rindo is going to Matsuri in Sydney so it’s a bit emotional, but to sum it up, it’s the first step for Taiko Rindo in Sydney!
Australia has a Taiko Rindo team in both Sydney and Melbourne. Going forward they plan to gradually teach more and more people about their Taiko culture.
Taiko Rindo expressed themselves in friendly and clear, and above all, an exciting way! It was such a refreshing interview. I learnt that Taiko requires a good sense of rhythm, a strong arm, and is also a great way to let off steam. Definitely something to check out at the festival! Let’s hope it doesn’t rain on the day!
Interviewers: Ryota Nakatake, Masaya Yamagata, Ayaka Onuma
Translator: Theo Nettleton