Japanese culture loud and proud

Yamato the Drummers of Japan are making their way to the Sutherland Shire on their Australian tour  to cast a spell on fans with their inspiring drumming and infectious dance rhythms. 

One of the most prolific touring Japanese performing art groups, Yamato will stop in the shire on September 19 with one show only at the Sutherland Entertainment Centre.

The show features Yamato’s newest display of originality in the form of The Challengers tour which offers an anthem of encouragement to all to pursue life’s challenges with courage. 

Since 1993, the group have performed in more than 50 countries around the world, playing to more than six million people. 

Gen Hidaka joined the troupe in 2006, having no experience of drumming.

In his first year he had physical training every day, including running 10 kilometres each morning and weight training in the afternoon. This was in addition to learning the art of taiko drumming.

For the Yamato troupe, taiko is not just about technique, it is about physical energy.

“There are a lot of taiko drum groups and each group has a different style,” Hidaka says.

There are about 20 members at any one time in the troupe, of which eight to 12 will tour Australia. 

Yamato is based in a village called Asuka, known as the birthplace of Japanese culture, and the group pride themselves on their expression of the ancient Japanese spirit and bring new life to the traditional Japanese taiko and wadaiko drums by paying respect to its rich history and exploring contemporary drumming styles. 

“We are ambassadors … we feel a responsibility to represent the culture of Japan,” Hidaka said.

The group live together in a community and create everything themselves.

This includes the musical compositions, lighting design, choreography, performance techniques, makeup, and props such as the bachi (sticks) used in the performances.

  • Tickets: yamatodrummers.com or 9521 8888.