ABOUT WTC

In 2020, the inaugural World Taiko Conference (WTC) will be held in Tokyo, Japan. This event will connect people from around the world through taiko (Japanese drums) and share the wonder of taiko with a wider global audience. 

Taiko, also known as “wadaiko” (Japanese drumming), originally emerged as a performing art in Japan around 70 years ago. This art-form continues to expand worldwide, enjoyed by people of diverse cultures and ethnicities, of all ages and any gender. Today, taiko stands out as a form of Japanese culture that has spread extensively around the world despite its relatively short history.

Two distinct qualities that set taiko apart from other musical instruments are its rich, powerful resonance and the ease with which anyone can make a sound when they first attempt to play it.

WTC will offer a multifaceted lineup, designed for attendees to enjoy regardless of their taiko experience. The program will feature taiko performances along with exchange-centered activities and discussion sessions.

The first-ever taiko conference took place in 1997 in Los Angeles, USA. Ever since, North America Taiko Conference has been held as a biennial event, for a total of 11 times to date.

Since 2016, Europe also has its own annual gathering: European Taiko Conference (ETC). 

In 2020, WTC will be the first taiko conference in Japan, where the art-form first began.

Event Goals
  • To introduce taiko culture, which has become popular around the world, in its country of origin⁠—Japan—to share its appeal and increase interest in the art form.

  • To act as a significant step towards further cultural creation centered around taiko.

  • To provide a place and opportunity for everyone to gather, interact, and forge new networks in Japan and on a global scale.

Objectives
  1. Further expand and develop taiko⁠—a performing art that originated in Japan.

  2. Facilitate meaningful exchange between taiko enthusiasts (players and spectators alike) from Japan and abroad, regardless of their different languages, ages, and physical abilities. 

  3. Convey the joy of taiko to all attendees.

What to expect:
  • Taiko and Japanese performing arts performances by taiko performers, groups, and artists from Japan and around the world.  

  • Activities that foster exchange between participants through the medium of taiko 

  • Keynote lectures that reflect on the global taiko community from a broad range of perspectives. 

  • Enjoyable taiko-based experiences for people who have never played taiko before.

  • An exploration of the myriad possibilities of taiko using cutting-edge technology

  • ...and much more!

Why Taiko?
Culturally significant Japanese art form

In 2020, the Tokyo Olympic Games will draw global attention to Japan and its rich culture. Taiko acts as an ambassador for Japan, connecting people around the world. So the Olympic year is the perfect occasion to promote this musical instrument and art form. 

Diversity

Drums have the longest history of any musical instrument and have been found throughout the world for thousands of years. Like other drums, it only takes a simple beating action to play taiko, which means anyone can play it easily right from their first encounter. Taiko drumming is a source of enjoyment for people of any background, culture, age, or ability.

Increasing taiko population around the world

The number of taiko players continues to grow, with numerous groups not only in Japan but also spread across six continents worldwide. Outside Japan, annual and biennial taiko conferences attract experienced players and newcomers to share, learn and network, which in turn helps the community to grow in size and strength.

Power to connect people

From ancient times, taiko has played a significant role in connecting people through festivals and performing arts. In a world where modern life is becoming increasingly individualized and diversified, perhaps we all need taiko’s inherent social mechanism in our lives now more than ever before.

 
WTC FAQ

Q: How do I register for the conference?

A: Conference registrations will be possible from the page.  When registration opens in April 2020 (date TBA), please visit the Registration page to fill out the "Conference Registration Form Form" online.​ Registration for WTC will open in April 2020 (Date TBA).

Q: Who can participate?

A: Anyone aged 8 & over! People of all cultures, backgrounds, genders, and abilities are welcome to take part. No previous taiko experience is required.

Q: What language will the conference be conducted?

A: The conference will be conducted in Japanese and English.

 
 
Meet the WTC team

Executive Steering Committee

Executive Steering Committee Chair: 

Tadahiro Konoe 

(curioswitch inc., Creative Director / CEO)

Executive Steering Committee Vice-Chair: 

Makoto Shimazaki 

(Professor Emeritus at Musashino Art University)

Executive Steering Committee :

(Alphabetic order)

Derek Oye  

(Board Chair, Taiko Community Alliance (U.S.A.)

                    Member, Kinnara Taiko (Los Angeles, CA))

 

Jonathan Kirby

  (Artistic Director, Kagemusha Taiko (UK)

                           Director, UK Taiko Festival and European Taiko Conference)​

Katsuji Asano

   (ASANO TAIKO U.S., Inc., CEO/ President)

Kazuko Shiomi   

(Nippon Taiko Foundation, President)

Nobuyuki Nishimura   

(Producer)

Tomoharu Inoue 

(Inoue Business Consultants, Inc., CEO/

Culture Vision Japan Foundation Inc., Board chairman)


Yoshihiko Miyamoto   

(Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten Co., Ltd., President)

Advisor:

Akitoshi Asano

   (The Asano Foundation For Taiko Culture Research, President)

Organizing Committee

Organizing Committee Chief Coordinator: 

Nobuyuki Nishimura

Organizing Committee Coordinator:

Yui Kamiya

Organizing Committee(Alphabetic order)

Ami Akimoto

Atsushi Sugano 

Kohei Inde

WTC スタッフ

事務局長: 

西村信之 (プロデューサー)

事務局長補佐:

神谷唯 (XXX)

​事務局:

菅野敦司 (公益財団法人鼓童文化財団専務理事)xxx担当?

Staff

(Alphabetical order)

Atsushi Sugano

Asumi Nishida

Erina Watanabe

Karuna Tembata

Kohei Inde

Kozue Koriyama

Makiko Omae​

Mami Oyama

Melanie Taylor

Midori Sanbongi

Sara Tembata

​Yuta Kato

Get the latest updates on WTC!

©World Taiko Conference Committee 

Presented by:

World Taiko Conference Committee

Website photos courtesy of:

Nippon Taiko Foundation, North American Taiko Conference, European Taiko Conference Organizer