Tenchi Shinmei: The Ocean


Tokara Wadaiko
St. John’s Church

Tokara returns to the Edinburgh Fringe with an engaging and dizzying taiko drum performance that is not to be missed.

Taiko drums are the large, barrel shaped drums played with straight, wooden sticks associated most notably with Japanese music. Originally used in religious ceremonies and in warfare to relay orders to each other and probably to scare their enemies. These drums are also used similarly by the Chinese and Koreans.

Daihachi Oguchi was the master who introduced taiko drumming as a performance form and was responsible for forming most of the taiko drum groups performing today. The art form is very strenuous and very stylized. There seems to be in all drumming groups a reverence for the form and the history.

Master Art Lee leads this trio (with Yukari Ichise and newcomer, Dan Havixbeck) with endless energy, precision and joy. You can see the endorphins popping. Also touring with them are Kazuko Takeda and Tenzan Yamada who add dimension to the evening.

Reviewer: Catherine Lamm