For the first time in history, a Japanese traditional drum performance was played in Botswana. Through the help of Nippon Taiko Foundation, the University of Botswana (UB) and the Embassy of Japan, the event was successfully attended by a large crowd at UB on Monday.
The Taiko performance was captivating as the crowd was enthralled by the hard hitting drum sound that echoed through the hall. The Taiko players gave an energetic and zealous performance. The drums seemed to keep calling more and more students and staff into the hall where the performance took place.
The special guest, Ambassador of Japan, Ryoachi Matsumayo, encouraged the audience to learn more and apply themselves in arts. He further explained that Taiko performance was aimed at helping to give knowledge and help bridge cultural gaps through arts.
Taiko is used as a form of communication.
Taiko interconnects the world through similarities of the usage of the drum.
The Ambassador said it was befitting the Taiko team should play in Africa because that’s where drums were created. He also thanked the UB staff for helping make the event a success
“I believe drums originated here in Africa. I believe the first man also came from Africa,” he said.
The Nippon Taiko Foundation President Kazuko Shiomi explained the historical significance and uses of Taiko to the audience.
“The drum plays a significant role in our own culture,” she said, adding that Japan and Botswana share values, such as receiving the fruits of hard labour and respecting their values.
During the Samurai period, the Taiko was used to boost the morale of the Samurai warriors, and it was also used to tell time.
Taiko, which is known for rhythmic sound and of helping to enhance rhythm in everyday life, is also used as an educational tool. It has also been introduced in schools in Japan. The Nippon Taiko Foundation has 22000 individual players and aims to increase on its 800 teams.
Nippon Taiko Foundation was established in 1997 with the aim of trying to help promote Japanese traditional culture both domestically and internationally.
A Taiko performance was used for the closing ceremony at the Winter Olympics in 1998.