Join us at an upcoming festival!

2021 Japanes Festival Opening Ceremony, Missouri Botanical Garden

Ready for festival season!

Festival season is upon us! Over the next three weekends, we will be celebrating Japanese culture with performances throughout St. Louis and Springfield, Missouri. These festivals provide a fun opportunity for audiences to learn about world cultures through music, dance, food, storytelling and other activities - all without a passport!

We kick things off this Saturday in Tower Grove Park, with the Festival of Nations. Organized by the International Institute of St. Louis, the annual event celebrates the diversity of world cultures that contribute to a thriving St. Louis community. This will be our first time performing at the Festival of Nations and we hope you can join us in the fun! The event is free and includes a ton of activities from around the world; check out the festival schedule for a full list of activities to plan your weekend.

Next we head to Missouri Botanical Garden for the Japanese Festival, which runs Labor Day weekend. The weekend begins with opening ceremonies, including a kagami-biraki, or sake barrel ceremony, where we share a bit of sake and play taiko, and continues over the three-day weekend with multiple performances. Download the festival program for a complete schedule, list of vendors, and ticket pricing.

Community group members perform at the 2021 Japanese FestivalOur community group members will perform at the Cohen Amphitheater at 6:50 PM Sunday, September 4. Please join us and help to cheer them on!

Advance tickets are recommended! Visit Missouri Botanical Garden's website to purchase tickets.

Last we travel across the state to Springfield for the 26th annual Japanese Fall Festival. Located in the beautiful Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, the event celebrates Springfield’s sister city relationship with Isesaki, Japan. In addition to opening ceremony, we will have multiple performances throughout the weekend.

Children's workshop at Japanese Fall Festival Following our Saturday afternoon performance, we will also be offering an introductory children's workshop to give audience members a chance to try taiko.

Tickets are available at the gate; visit the event website for a full list of performers and ticket pricing.

This is our favorite time of year - we hope you can join us at one of these events!
Festival of Nations
Tower Grove Park
4257 Northeast Dr., St. Louis, MO
Saturday, August 27 - Sunday, August 28
Saturday - 1:00 PM (Main Stage)

Japanese Festival
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO
Saturday, September 3 - Monday, September 5
Saturday - 11:00 AM Opening Ceremony (Yagura Stage)
Saturday - 7:00 PM (Cohen Amphitheater)
Sunday - 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM (Cohen Amphitheater)
Monday - 2:00 PM (Cohen Amphitheater)

Springfield Japanese Fall Festival
Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park -
Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden
2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, MO
Friday, September 9 - Sunday, September 11
Friday - 6:10 PM (Opening Ceremony)
Saturday - 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM
Sunday - 2:30 PM 

*Note, Japanese Fall Festival performance times are approximate. Check our calendar for updates.


Stop by the dashi!

A favorite at Missouri Botanical Garden's Japanese Festival, we're excited to be re-opening the dashi, our parade float, for visitors to try out taiko. Our members will be inside the dashi throughout the weekend; stop by to chat with us, learn more about taiko and our group, and play a little taiko.

Children play taiko inside the dashi

Spotlight on a Member

Meet Angela Sanderson

Where did you first experience taiko and how did you get involved with the group?
I was first introduced to taiko at the Japanese Festival at the St. Louis Botanical Garden in 2018 while I was volunteering for the non-profit Japanese language school. In June of 2021 as we were nearing the end of the pandemic, Hitomi, my Japanese teacher at the language school, mentioned that taiko classes were starting back up and encouraged us to give it a try and learn more about Japanese culture. I took the leap to join the community class playing taiko and I’ve been hooked ever since!

What do you like most about it?
I like the dynamic nature of taiko, spreading across the spectrum of strong, powerful percussion to festive, cheerful melodies; it just sounds cool! Also, as much as I struggle with it, I also appreciate the choreography that helps to shape the experience of each piece we play.

I really enjoy learning all the new songs and I can’t wait to learn more! For me, I get a lot of my taiko enjoyment out of the feeling of accomplishment from learning and improving with each practice, and then being able to share all of that hard work through performance; I just hope that it shows.

You joined the group just a few months ago, and have already learned a ton of songs! Do you have a favorite, or one that you’re excited to learn?
I have quite a few songs that I enjoy playing! That being said, I don’t think I would ever turn down an opportunity to bust out a Hanabi or a Zoku. Hanabi and Zoku have catchy rhythms and pulse beats that I just can’t help but want to play over and over again.
What would you say to others considering taking a taiko class?
Just do it! Why hesitate? You only live once! It’s fun!
I have a lot of cliché things I could say but first of all, the first two classes are free and teach you the basics so there’s no immediate fear of having buyer’s remorse if it’s just not for you. Secondly, you will have an opportunity to learn more about Japanese culture and arts, and support a local non-profit organization in the process! For me personally, I would rather try something and have new experiences and stories to tell than give up before I’ve had the chance to do it if it was within my means. Lastly, the community group is full of all kinds of interesting and passionate people that I enjoy spending time with, so it’s an experience that I feel is well worth my Sunday afternoon.

Do you have any other hobbies?
Outside of taiko, I enjoy spending time with my niece, lifting weights at the gym, running, learning Japanese, watching anime, and playing video games. I wish I had more time to do more of those things! I also volunteer my time for work related organizations. I currently lead committees for both a global group mentoring program and a Business Resource Group supporting learning and education for women both in the workplace and community. So you might catch me volunteering for various STEM/STEAM camps or events in the St. Louis region.
We are a non-profit group that performs the art of taiko around the St. Louis area and the world.
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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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