Spending a sometimes rainy Saturday morning doing outdoor practice, I would spend the afternoon in a warm and dry room filled with Japanese drums, Tai-ko. It turned out the drums belongs to Sensei Ralf and Sensei Soo-Im. They work with spreading knowledge about Tai-ko in Sweden through the Taiko Shin Kai organization.
Together with 6 other interested participants I was introduced to Tai-ko, including a short background on Tai-ko followed by practical basics of correct stances, how to hold the drumsticks, bachi, and a special song technique, kuchisouga, for memorizing a Tai-ko piece.
During the afternoon we practiced on a short piece/rythm, ji, played during festivals called Matsuri-ji. Sensei Ralf and Sensei Soo-Im helped all participants, kindly and patiently, during 2 hours of memorizing the piece, resulting in the group playing the complete piece.
Since both of them are experienced Karate-ka I had some questions regarding the connection between Budo and Tai-ko practice. It turned out that some stances and how to hold the drumsticks have their similarities in Budo.
If the drumstick is like a pen used by the Tai-ko player to write music, Sensei Ralf and Sensei Soo-Im reflects the classical samurai proverb
” bun bu ryo do , the pen and sword in accord ”
Finally I would like to thank Sensei Ralf and Sensei Soo-Im for creating an opportunity for people to try out Tai-ko. Good luck with your work spreading Tai-ko in Sweden.