Fujimi Taiko Association Street Performance
Sometimes you’re just lucky. Last month while walking towards the huge Shibuya festival I had to pass from the other side of the station and I happened to be walking in step with a small group of taiko drummers about to set up an impromptu street performance right in front of the station and bus stops! The group is part of Fujimitaikonokai, 富士見太鼓の会, one of the bigger and most famous groups of traditional taiko drummers in Japan, they’ve even performed abroad. Usually people pay good money to see these guys perform but I was just lucky to happen upon them. Fujimi Taiko Association is a group based in Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo that not only excels in taiko drumming but also does tons of charity work, PR work and community service. Groups like this exists all over Japan and is one of the reasons Japan is such a safe country, the community spirit here is just unbelievably strong.
There’s a rather good video of one of their performances on Youtube that I have had playing while writing this post, I really recommend you to check it out. Remember though that nothing can match the experience of seeing these kind of performances live, you can feel the drum in your guts! The performance I saw was dominated by the kids who took turn to perform on the main drum. This is another great thing about Japan, the older are not afraid to step back and let the younger people shine, whether it’s a corporation, band, sports event or community group!