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Friday, Aug. 1, 2008

Ensemble aims to strengthen bonds between Japan, Brazil

Staff Writer

Amanojaku, an ensemble of taiko Japanese drummers, will hold concerts on Aug. 13 and 14 in Tokyo to commemorate the centennial of Japanese migration to Brazil, which started in 1908.

News photo
Raw energy: Members of Amanojaku play taiko at a 2006 concert. The ensemble will give concerts at the Nerima Bunka Center in Tokyo on Aug. 13 and 14, playing selections that symbolize the strong ties between Japan and Brazil. NAOKAZU OINUMA

Seven of the group's professional drummers and eight of their students will play selections including "Kizuna," meaning "bond," which symbolizes the strong ties between people in Japan and Brazil. Amanojaku's leader, Yoichi Watanabe, cocomposed the tune, which was played by some 1,000 Japanese- Brazilian drummers at a centennial event in Sao Paulo in June.

Isaku Kageyama, one of Amanojaku's drummers who has taught taiko to Japanese-Brazilian youths, said that "Kizuna" has another message — that the bond between Japanese-Brazilians and other Brazilians should be strengthened.

"The theme also conveys the wish that the fourth and fifth generations of young Japanese-Brazilians, and their elders from the second and first generations, should regard their bond across the generations as important," Kageyama said.

In addition to drums, Kyosuke Suzuki will play the yokobue (transverse flute) and Katsunari Sawada will play the shamisen (Japanese banjo).

On Aug. 13, the concert will start at 7 p.m., while on Aug. 14, the show begins at 2 p.m. The venue is Nerima Bunka Center, near Nerima Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro, Seibu Yurakucho and Oedo lines. Advance tickets (Ticket Pia, P-Code: 293-971) are ¥4,000.

For more information, visit the group's Web site at amanojaku.info, or call (03) 3904-1745.

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