Discussion Sessions

Saturday, August 20, 2011
12:45pm - 2:30pm
Locations: Multiple

A variety of information-packed discussion sessions will be offered at the NATC 2011, lead by a knowledgeable moderator and panelists. Participants are asked to select one of four genres and then allocated a discussion session based on their selection.

History and Culture
Group Creation, Administration and Management
Current Issues
Nuts and Bolts


On Whose Shoulders Do You Stand?: Our History in a Nutshell
This session is intended for taiko players who know their don’s from their ka’s but who have questions about the origins of kumidaiko in Japan and the pioneers of the art form in North America. Taiko history comes to life as we realize the significance of our teachers and peers -- and our own role -- at the 8th North American Taiko Conference.

Curator: Linda Uyechi - Jun Daiko
Dinkelspiel Auditorium

Taiko and the Temple

Learn about the relationship between Taiko and the Buddhist Temples. With the Rev. Mas Kodani and the Kinnara Taiko Group, soon there were taiko groups started in many Temples. There were additional means that taiko groups started in the Temples. Perhaps Japanese Buddhism and Japanese culture which was naturally found in the Temples made starting kumi taiko groups a natural extension. Plus having a space to practice and store equipment was another reason for Temple groups to start. Not to be overlooked, but barrel taiko was instrumental in starting new groups without the major investment in drums. Obon soon became a venue for temple taiko groups to perform. These and other factors make the Temple and Taiko a 'perfect storm' in a very positive way. Also to be examined will be some of the characteristics of Temple Taiko groups compared to non-Temple groups.

Curator: Rev. Ron Miyamura
Campbell Recital Hall

Taiko as Social Change

Paralleling the minority experience of "Angry Drummers" formed by the Burakumin in Japan, with the experience of Taiko groups during the Civil Rights movement, panelists will discuss the importance of using art as social action.

Curator: Alan Okada – Soh Daiko
Braun Music Center 103


How to Start and Maintain a Group

Panel of experienced group leaders to discuss certain hardships and success stories, along with addressing helpful issues to help others start up and maintain a taiko group.

Curator: Kristofer Bergstrom - ON Ensemble
AAAC Ballroom, Old Union Clubhouse

Strategic Decision-Making for Financial Viability

This will be an interactive discussion session targeted for participants who serve as administrative leaders in their taiko groups. It will feature a new tool to help groups think strategically about both fundraising and earned income strategies.

Curator: Susan Yuen - Jun Daiko
Bechtel Assembly Room


Curly Noodle: Remix

Curly Noodle: Remix is back at the 2011 North American Taiko Conference. The Curly Noodle forum has evolved since its inception in 2001. Many LGBTQ taiko players found a community within the larger taiko community by making connections and sharing life stories with others. Times have changed over the past 10 years, however, homophobia and fear still exist and there are still people who may feel isolated, scared and/or searching for their identity or a sense of belonging. The taiko art form brings people together with power, strength, respect, joy, and perseverance. Using these principles to help build a stonger taiko community by helping each other find pride in their identity is essential. This year’s Curly Noodle Remix will provide an opportunity to share and hear stories from panel members and participants, but also to find answers to questions about being an ally to fellow LGBTQ taiko players. All are welcome to bring your questions, stories, and an open mind.

Curator: Dane Fujimoto - Portland Taiko
Cypress Room South, Tresidder Union

Tradition and Innovation: Keeping the Faith, Exploring New Worlds

As more and more groups form within North America with little or no connection to taiko in Japan, what are some issues that we need to address or face in being practitioners of a cultural art form that originated in another country? Do we have an obligation to respect and preserve certain traditions? or create new ones? Will too much innovation transform taiko as an art form? Into what?

Curator: Stan Shikuma - Seattle Kokon Taiko
Elliot Program Center


If You Build It, They Will Come: Taiko-Building Philosophies and Techniques in Pursuit of the Ideal Sound

Panel presentation and discussion (with the all-important show-and-tell!): drummakers from Japan and North America share perspectives on a diversity of topics including conception of sound (what is good sound and how do you obtain it?), innovations in design, construction techniques, sourcing materials (which trees? what animals?), and developing the right tooling for the job.

Curator: Stephen Sano - Stanford Taiko
Dinkelspiel Basement

Stage Production

A panel of experienced performers share their best practices for what it takes to put on a well-staged performance. Come discuss lighting, sound, costuming, transitions, and any other burning questions you may have about stage production.

Curator: Yoko Okano - Jun Daiko
Roble Gym 38

Reaching the Next Level: A Comprehensive Approach to Artistic Development

You have taiko, you have players, you have enthusiasm. But, is that enough? How does a taiko group cultivate its style? How does one's personal development fit into the greater scheme of ensemble development? Is artistic development a continuous and active process and, if so, whose responsibility is it and how do you get started? Join us for ideas and discussion on how to take your taiko group to the next artistic level.

Curator: Carrie Carter, O•Daiko (Hong Kong)
Roble Hall Theatre