This month, we welcome our new dashi coordinators, but also mourn the loss of a beloved supporter of the St. Louis taiko community.

Welcome, Spencer and Andrew!

This year we have had to say "goodbye" to several retiring performing members and recently to volunteer Tony Salini, who is retiring from the dashi organization. For the past six years, Tony has led the effort to prepare our dashi for the Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden, helping it to remain a favorite attraction year after year.

We're always saddened when someone leaves, but this month we welcome two new volunteers, Spencer Stevens and Andrew Akira Hansen, who have joined us to learn about the dashi and prepare for the upcoming festivities. Several performing members joined Spencer and Andrew one sunny Saturday to give the dashi its annual "tune-up" to make sure it's in good running condition for the festival.

Left: Andrew helps to shield the sun while Spencer airs up the tires. Teamwork!

Right: Performing member Katie pulls the dashi while Andrew and Spencer take turns steering and braking in preparation for the parades through the garden.
Below: After practicing the controls, we give the dashi a full cleaning. Even the roof gets cleaned!

With the help of our new volunteers, supported by Tony's guidance, the dashi is now ready for the upcoming Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden. We offer our sincere gratitude to Tony for all his years of support and hard work to help make the dashi a success; we are humbled by the amazing support we receive from our volunteers! Visit Spencer, Andrew and our performing members at the dashi, outside Spink Pavilion, over the Labor Day weekend (August 31 through September 2) to learn more about taiko and the dashi.


Congratulations, Cindy!

Cindy JobeAbove: Decked out in rain gear, Cindy helps us set up for the stormy opening ceremony at the 2018 Japanese Fall Festival.

Congratulations to Cindy Jobe, who is retiring this month after more than 30 years with the Springfield Sister Cities Association. As exectutive director, Cindy has been our primary coordinator and friend at the Japanese Fall Festival in Springfield, Missouri. In the years that we've worked with Cindy, we've been amazed by her commitment to bring the cultures of communities from around the world to the Midwest. We wish Cindy the best as she begins retirement and hope to see her again at the upcoming festival!
Clare Kanoya

In Loving Memory of Clare Kanoya

Celebrating the life of a beloved supporter of taiko in St. Louis.

We are saddened by the news that board member Clare Kanoya passed away this week after being hospitalized due to illness. Mrs. Kanoya played an integral role in the taiko community since the group's formation 33 years ago, when her son Justin was a member of the children's group. From organizing the group's performances at the Japanese Festival to bringing other taiko groups to our city, she has fostered many close relationships across the taiko community that continue today. 

Mr. and Mrs. Kanoya with SLOT membersAbove: Mr. and Mrs. Kanoya spend time with us at our studio when Osuwa Daiko visited in 2012.

Mrs. Kanoya's dedication to our group was considerable. She could be found working at our sales table during our performances at nearly every Japanese Festival, and for many years even helped to transport drums and equipment to practices and performances. Former performing members (now board members) Jaclynn Lett and Aya Yoshida offer remembrances of their time with Mrs. Kanoya.

"Mrs. Kanoya always told me how proud she was of St. Louis Osuwa Taiko," Jaci remembers. "She was so impressed with how far the group had come over the years and how we continued to grow and improve. She cared deeply about SLOT and taiko and we're very indebted to her dedication. I will miss her and her gentle wisdom."

Aya also notes Mrs. Kanoya's optimism throughout life, surviving numerous medical conditions with grace and spirit, and always pushing through. Enjoying conversations over many meals together in Hawaii, Mrs. Kanoya's message remained clear: to enjoy life. Her trademark signature, "Life is short, eat dessert first and take time to smell the plumeria!" is a message that has stuck with Aya over the years, a playful reminder to get everything out of life.

Mr. and Mrs. Kanoya with Aya YoshidaAbove: The Kanoyas pause for a photo with Aya at the 2015 KaDON workshop in St. Louis.

We extend our condolences to the Kanoya family; in our community, she was always a "taiko mom" for us and we will miss her kindness and generosity greatly.

Upcoming Performances

Raintree Arts Council - Clarksville
Sunday, August 18 - 3:00pm
The Apple Shed
702 South 2nd Street
Clarksville, MO 63361
Free performance + workshop

Missouri Botanical Garden Japanese Festival
Saturday, August 31 - Monday, September 2
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
$16 admission / $5 children (age 3-12) / $8 members

Springfield Japanese Fall Festival
Friday, September 6 - Sunday, September 8
Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden at Springfield Botanical Gardens
2400 South Scenic Ave.
Springfield, MO 65807
$7 Friday or Sunday / $10 Saturday / $3 children 12 and under

We are a non-profit group that performs the art of taiko around the St. Louis area and the world.
Copyright © 2015 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko, All rights reserved.
10734 Trenton Ave. | St. Louis, MO 63132
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St. Louis Osuwa Taiko · 10734 Trenton Ave. · St. Louis, MO 63132 · USA

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