Thank you to everyone for helping to make the Japanese Festivals a success!

2018 Japanese Festival

The End of Summer

Every September we perform in two Japanese Festivals in St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri. The festivals are our largest and most demanding performances each year, but can also be the most rewarding. This year we really challenged ourselves, learning several new pieces in a short amount of time. We had a lot of fun and we hope you enjoyed it! But our success wouldn't be possible without all of our volunteers, who share their time and their talents with us to make these events better each year.

Tony and a group of volunteers prepare the dashi for procession to the stage

Above: Tony Salini prepares the dashi, our parade float, for its procession to the stage. Each year, Tony handles the preparations necessary to get the dashi ready for the festival. He also gathers visitors to the dashi before the processions to our performances, making sure we always have a good crowd. While the dashi is not parading to a performance, performing member Rosemary Mroczkowski and other members spend much of their time in the dashi, teaching festival-goers about taiko and the dashi, and playing a lot of taiko. With their help, the dashi continues to be a popular attraction at the festival!

Thank you to all of our volunteers who distributed programs and staffed our merchandise table. Former member Megan Geeck traveled all the way from New Orleans to hand out programs, and even danced Kagura with us! Thank you also to Kevin Converse for providing videography for every show throughout the long weekend; we hope to share some of the footage soon!

Thank you also to photographer Kevin Dingman, who travels to St. Louis each year to document the festival and our performances. Many of the photos you see in our newsletters and on social media (including the top photo) come from Kevin. We continue to be amazed by the images he captures!

Karina Terai plays violin during Oni Daiko

We also want to give a special thank you to guest artists Tomiko Carter and Karina Terai (above right) for lending your musical talents to our performance pieces "Otemoyan" and "Oni Daiko," taking the time to practice with us in our studio and performing with us throughout the weekend.

The Springfield Japanese Fall Festival was a bit soggy this year with rain throughout the festival weekend, but that didn't dampen the enthusiasm. Thank you to Cindy Jobe and the Springfield Sister Cities Committee for all your efforts in keeping the stage dry and safe for the performers, and for all your assistance loading and unloading all our equipment. You rock!

A wet start to the Springfield Japanese Fall Festival


A Homecoming at the Focal Point

We're excited to be returning to the Focal Point next month! Join us Friday, October 12 for an energetic show at what has become one of our favorite venues. The show will begin with a performance by world percussion ensemble Joia, who is celebrating the group's 25th year. Tickets are available now!

Friday, October 12, 2018
Doors open at 7:30 PM / Performance at 8:00 PM
Tickets $15 advance / $20 door

Song Profile: Yatai Bayashi

Trad. from Saitama, arr. SLOT

Yatai Bayashi is a beloved and oft-performed piece in the taiko community. Adapted from the festival music from Chichibu, Japan, Yatai Bayashi was arranged and popularized as a performance piece by the group Ondekoza and later by Kodo. The players’ strength and endurance are challenged to the utmost, making it an intense piece.

Having its origins as a festival piece, Yatai Bayashi was originally played on a large parade float called a yatai. To accommodate the restricted space, the drums would be placed low to the floor in a horizontal position; the players take a seated position and lean back while playing the drum. It is a very strenuous position and requires a great deal of endurance. As the piece was adapted for stage performances, the unique playing style was maintained to showcase the physical nature of the piece.

Elizabeth, Joel and Katie perform Yatai Bayashi

We learned portions of Yatai Bayashi several years ago but we were missing many details needed to create a performance piece. Performing member Mana Hayashi Tang taught us the remaining sections, having studied the piece extensively with Gendo Taiko at Brown University, and we debuted our arrangement at the Japanese Festival earlier this month. 

Mana leads Yatai Bayashi. Photo by Ashley Webelhuth.

Thank you to Mana for teaching us the piece, coaching us from abroad so we could be ready for the debut!

*Photos by Ashley Webelhuth

Support St. Louis Osuwa Taiko

St. Louis Osuwa Taiko is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and we rely on support from members and friends to maintain our studio, equipment, classes and costumes. There are several ways to support our mission; many don't cost you a thing!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to St. Louis Osuwa Taiko.

You can also support us while stocking up on groceries or dining at your favorite area restaurant. When you shop at Schnucks, the grocery store will donate up to 3% of your monthly purchases using the eScrip program. Pick up an eScrip card at any area Schnucks store, register online, and then present it every time you shop at Schnucks. eScrip also works at participating St. Louis area restaurants. You can register any credit or debit card to your account and use it for your purchases. We earn 2.5% on dining purchases. 

You can also make a secure, tax-deductible donation via PayPal Donate.

Thank you for your generous support!

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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