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History of Osuwa-Daiko

The OSUWA-DAIKO origin can be traced to one of the most famous samurai battles in the history of Japan "Kawanakazima-Samurai Battle War" where are near the capital city of the NAGANO prefecture between one of well-known samurai, Shingen-Takeda and Kenshin-Uesugi.

In other words this Taiko-Art (Osuwa-Daiko) of the Suwa-Taisha (Suwa-Shrine) performed in a group beating a number of different types of drums (Taiko) inherits not only the techniques but the basic concept of the "SHINGEN-TAKEDA" samurai war drum that awe inspiring soul of samurai and raise the morale of samurai before going into battle war that they no fear and they are very brave.

It retains in its rhythm and idea the soul of the peasants of old times who were at time called up for service as soldiers (Samurai). During the period of civil wars by the samurai-battles waged against Kenshin-Uesugi. His great rival military commander (Samurai) between 1561 and 1568, Shingen-Takeda ordered that a music band (Taiko) composed of 21 enlisted farmer musicians be organized to boost the morale of his troops.

Those musicians were divided into three groups each consisting of 7 members to accompany each symphony corps to the samurai battlefield and Shingen-Takeda by Kawanakazima-Samurai Battle flag using "FUU-RIN-KA-ZAN" which means all things in nature for tactical point.

When the shells are blown and all percussion instruments are mustered for the performance we can well imagine the way the music engendered fighting spirit among warriors (Samurai) before a Samurai Battle.

The primary purpose of the Osuwa-Daiko therefore is not cultivating the art of individual performance but to promote the spirit of cooperation, friendship and harmony through group performance.

Hence their greatest inheritance is the immaterial force of the past the passion and vitality that the past inhabitants of the Suwa-Valley where are about 200km west of Tokyo had beaten into the "Osuwa-Daiko".

 

Intangible Cultural Heritage: OSUWA-DAIKO

Intangible cultural heritage Osuwa-Daiko (Traditional Japanese Drum) has been venerated as a God of Agriculture and Prowess by people all around Japan , having its origin in Daidai-Kagura (Shinto-music) in Shinanonokuni-Ichinomiya Suwa-Shine (Head of Suwa-Shrine) .

About 450 years ago, in September of the 4th year of Eiroku (1561), the Great Samurai Warrior, Shingen-Takeda played this drum at the field of Kawanakajima to rouse morale among the Samurai, and this led to the success of the battle.

The OSUWA-DAIKO is listed as one of the top 3 Taiko group in Japan and the greatest group in Japan . In addition to 600 local supporting teams in Japan , there are also international branches in the United States , Canada , France , Singapore , Indonesia , Kuwait , Australia , Thailand and other areas overseas, actively promoting Japanese Taiko through international friendship activities.

Daihachi-Oguchi is GrandMaster of Osuwa-Daiko, bestowed by Suwa-Shine Chairman, Osuwa-Daiko Preservation Society. He received honorary citizen of Toronto , Canada and Kansas and St. Louis , Missouri , United States . He also has honorary chairman, Singapore-Japan cultural association. He has been composing pieces for the Taiko since around 1950, performing them throughout Japan and on numerous television programs. In recent years, "Ashura", the Exiting Drum Summit, a " Battle of the Drums" with the king of Western drums, George-Kawaguchi received accolades both in Japan and overseas. He received honorary citizen of New Orleans , Louisiana , United States .

GrandMaster, Daihachi-Oguchi was accompanied by famous saxophonist, Ryo-Noda, Koto (Traditional Japanese harp) player, Yoshinaga-Takano, Marimba player, Mutsuko-Fujii and Traditional Indian Dance performers, Shakti and so on.

Here late years, Internationally Synthesizer players, KITARO that he was the winner of the 2001 Grammy Award in the United States . They were make repeated and collaboration in TAIKO percussion section. They were receiving a favorable review notice meet.

GrandMaster, Daihachi-Oguchi was also received high praise for his co-performances with other famous musicians, such as flautist, Masanori -Fujita, Tsugaru-jamisen(Traditional Japanese guitar) player, Shoju -Kitabayashi, and Shakuhachi(Traditional Japanese flute) players, Kifu -Mitsuhashi also Kizan-Oyoshi, as well as the NHK Symphony Orchestra was internationally conducted by Hiroyuki-Iwaki.

In this way, he has opened up new vistas for the TAIKO, helping it to evolve from a drum played only in festivals into an instrument that makes beautiful music. He is a pioneer in this field of total fusion with TAIKO.

The Osuwa-Daiko Preservation Society performed in the Closing Ceremony of the NAGANO Winter Olympiad in 1998. Along with a stunning ensemble of 2,000 drummers in the Olympic stadium, GrandMaster, Daihachi-Oguchi own compositions “ISAMIGOMA” (Running Horse) and so on.

We also performed the major event of Japan such as Tokyo Olympic in 1964 & Osaka-Expo in 1970 & Aichi-Expo in 2005 and so on even NHK Drama of Samurai warrior, “TAKEDA-SHINGEN” in 1988 & “ODA-NOBONAGA” in 1992 & “FUURINKAZAN” in 2007 also Japanese Samurai Movie.
   
 

OSUWA-DAIKO

GrandMaster, Daihachi-Oguchi restored a piece of traditional shrine music for the Suwa-Taisha (Suwa-Shrine).

His original compositions have contributed greatly to the development of the Suwa-region and to the promotion of Japanese Taiko.

He is held in the highest esteem as foremost figure in the World of Wa-Daiko (Traditional Japanese Drum) not only in Japan but internationally as well.

In 1953, he formed the Osuwa-Daiko Preservation Society with the aims of passing on ancient traditions to future generation and the musical development of the Taiko, which has a history of over 50 years, and the National Osuwa-Daiko Federation.

Since then, he has devised and perfected the original "KUMI-TAIKO" style of ensemble drumming, collecting many traditional Wa-Daiko, which have been born of Japanese culture, of various sizes and tones, and playing them in an orchestra-like style all over the world.

He has turned this new dimension of Taiko music into one of the world's foremost folk performing arts.

He has performed all over Japan and has received high acclaimed for this many performances overseas as well, contributing greatly to international friendship and cultural exchange.

He also provides guidance and training for some 600 Taiko teams throughout Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa, as well as 8 teams in the United States including San Francisco Taiko-Dojo (U.S.) as Master, Seiichi-Tanaka sensei one of pupils (Osuwa-Daiko), is held in such high esteem in the United States that he was awarded a National Heritage Fellow by President George W. Bush in 2001.

His achievements in this field have been truly outstanding while the others five teams in Toronto and other parts of Canada, and in France, Singapore, Indonesia, Kuwait and many other parts of the world.

GrandMaster, Daihachi-Oguchi took Nippon Taiko Foundation, succeeding in bringing together from around Japan and becoming the Foundation's representative and leader.
In 1975 established All Japan Taiko Federation, Chairman, Ryouichi-Sasagawa sensei. He also established Nippon-Foundation and All Japan Karate-Do Federation the first Chairman.

Major of Japanese traditional drums "TAIKO" originally have continued to find a place in religious ceremonies, both Buddhist and Shinto, and it is extremely common to find Taiko in both temples and shrines.

In fact, the Nichiren sect is credited with created the uchiwa style taiko, who used it as an aid in chanting.

Restorer of intangible cultural asset Daidai-Kagura(Shinto-music) of Shinanonokuni-Ichinomiya-Suwa-Taisha(Head of Suwa-Shrine), GrandMaster, Daihachi-Oguchi of Osuwa-Daiko, bestowed by Suwa-Taisha(Suwa-Shrine).

In 1981, GrandMaster, Daihachi-Oguchi was endowed with the "TENKO" from one of the priest, Hiten-Ishida who are the United States Nichiren-sect headquarters president priest at the San Francisco .

TENKO, which means toward at the sky and the air involved beating Taiko all things in nature and Gods.

Some Buddhist sects use Taiko to represent the voice of Buddha, and Traditional-Bon dancing in summer is centered on Buddhist rites. It was used in village Shinto rites to offer up prayers to the Gods.

In addition, the village festivals were celebrated with the sound of drumming. These festivals developed a rich body of traditional Taiko rhythms that are a now a never-ending source of inspiration to modern players. The people were very thankful of the Taiko, and began to believe that a god inhabited the Taiko.

GrandMaster, Daihachi-Oguchi one of best pupils, the Taiko is traditional instrument of Japan that is played burn with enthusiasm heart and soul.

To become a consummate performer, one must devote oneself by the development of mental discipline to mastering the Taiko instrument, not only by acquiring the requisite technical skills but also by undergoing rigorous training of both strong mind and body, proper spirit the way to do this is through the art culture from GrandMaster, Daihachi-Oguchi.

TAIKO (Osuwa-Daiko) has continued to find a place in religious ceremonies, both Buddhist and Shinto, and it is extremely common to find Taiko in both temples and shrines.

   
 

Grand Head Master of Osuwa-Daiko:
Daihachi-Oguchi

Daihachi-Oguchi formed a band, Sansei, in his hometown at the Okaya-City, NAGANO in 1947.

In 1949, he restored a piece of traditional shine music for the Suwa-Shine, and became the seventh grandmaster of Osuwa-Daiko. His original compositions have contributed greatly to the development of the Suwa-region and to the promotion of Japanese Taiko. He is held in the highest esteem as the foremost figure in the World of Wa-daiko (Traditional Japanese Drum) not only in Japan but internationally as well.

In 1953, he formed the Osuwa-Daiko Preservation Society with the aims of passing on ancient traditions to future generations and the musical development of the Taiko, and called KUMI-DAIKO style of ensemble drumming, collecting many Traditional-Wadaiko, which have been born of Japanese culture, of various sizes and tones, and playing them in an orchestra-like style. He has turned this new dimension of Taiko music into one of the world's foremost folk performing arts. He has performed all over Japan and has received high acclaimed for this many performances overseas as well, contributing greatly to international friendship and cultural exchange.

In a bid to establish the musical credentials of Taiko, he composed a piece for an ensemble of 500 drummers, which was performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 1978 National Athletic Meet in the presence of the Japanese Emperor, Hirohito.

He also took the lead in establishing the Nippon Taiko Foundation, succeeding in bringing together some 200 taiko organization from around Japan and becoming the Foundation's representative and leader. He is also active as a standing director of the Nippon Music Foundation and a director of the Japan Folk Performing Arts Association.

In 1976, he established Osuwa-Daiko Kogyo, and 1979, he opened the Suwa-Hibiki Taiko Studio & Showroom, Shop as well. In 1982, he established the Osuwa-Daiko Academy, and in 1990, he opened the World-Taiko-Museum in the Osuwa-Daiko Dojo at the Okaya-City.


   
 

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