With added safety measures like social distancing, we are planning a series of virtual events to share this festival season.

Taiko rainbow

Taiko at the end of the rainbow

It's the end of July, and in a normal year we would be in full preparation mode for Japanese festivals across the state. We'd be finalizing set lists, checking and repairing equipment, and arranging song transitions. Sadly this year continues to be anything but "normal;" live events have been cancelled or postponed, but we are adapting to the changing circumstances, including smaller group practices and virtual performances.

With the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, it may not be feasible for our ensemble of thirteen to practice together for some time. In order to provide a safe environment, we've reimagined what our group might look like: in come the Barons of Bachi; Masters of Ma; and Warriors of Ki, our tiny but mighty subgroups.

By dividing into much smaller groups, we are able to space our equipment well over six feet apart to help reduce risk even with the physical exertion of taiko. Adding in mask-wearing and a more vigorous cleaning routine, our practices look very different than they did before the pandemic reached St. Louis, but they are no less rewarding.

It's been more than four months since some of our members have played taiko. Long-time performing member Helena remarked she hadn't realized just how much she had been missing it - even the inevitable blisters.

Times continue to be uncertain, and we're grateful to be able to practice together to bring a sense of normalcy during such a difficult situation. We hope you are continuing to stay safe and well, and we can't wait to be with you again!


Joel Balestra

We're going virtual this festival season!

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Midwest, Missouri Botanical Garden and Springfield Sister Cities Committee have made the difficult decision to cancel their Japanese festivals this year. These festivals bring us great joy, and their cancellation is a devastating hit both financially and emotionally.

While nothing compares to the thrill of a live taiko performance, our group is working to find new ways to share taiko with you this season. To that end, we are planning a series of virtual watch parties to take place in August and September. 

Our mini-groups are practicing some of our favorite pieces to record in the coming weeks. We're excited that technology allows us to share these with you so we can all have a taste of the festival season. Stay tuned for more updates!
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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