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The website of Taiko Meantime, from the World Heritage Site of Greenwich


We're very excited to be welcoming Hana Yui to London.
We'll be performing with them in March at the following events:

Announcing a third show with Taiko Meantime and Hana Yui:
1st April 2004
Euston Tower, Regent's Plaza (near Warren Street tube station)
Click for map
12:30 - 13:30
Admission FREE
NB. This performance is outdoors and therefore weather dependent!!!

For this extra show only,
we're proud to be joined by Kodo's senior drummer:
Yoshikazu Fujimoto

Hana Yui and Taiko Meantime joint performances
Lilian Baylis Theatre
Tuesday 23rd March SOLD OUT
Wednesday 24th March SOLD OUT

Public workshop
Lilian Baylis Theatre
Monday 22nd March SOLD OUT
more info

Hana Yui is a voice and dance group made up of Kodo members, Chieko Kojima and Yoko Fujimoto, and Okinawan dance expert, Mitsue Kinjo.  Finding themselves together on Sado, they decided to pool their talents and form a performing group.  In addition to performances, they also conduct workshops guaranteed to enliven both body and soul.

The Japanese word "hana" means "flower" and symbolises the youthful energy that Hana Yui puts into their performances.  The word "yui" recalls the relationships formed in village Japan when one family did not have enough members to plant its rice or to replace its thatched roof and neighbours or other friendly parties came along to help them.  What bound the villagers together was the spirit of "yui."

In addition to their workshops and performances, Hana Yui has been increasingly involved in the research and study of the local song and dance traditions of its home Sado Island.  Many of these traditions are in danger of disappearing as the older generation of practitioners gradually decreases.  Like their parent performing company, Kodo, Hana Yui is committed to the preservation, transmission and presentation of the traditional Japanese arts to younger generations of Japanese through the medium of stage performance.

Recently, Hana Yui’s active involvement in the transmission of traditional Japanese culture has begun to extend beyond the borders of Japan.  In 1999, Hana Yui was invited to perform at the North American Taiko Conference in Los Angeles.  At that time, a number of taiko groups in the USA and Canada were inspired by Hana Yui’s unique incorporation of song and dance into traditional taiko performance.

Now, in March 2004, Hana Yui will come to the UK, to perform with Taiko Meantime in London.
In addition to performances, there will be opportunities for public workshops with Hana Yui.

Chieko Kojima
Born in Iwafune, Tochigi-prefecture, Chieko joined Ondekoza in 1976 and thus began her encounter with folk dancing. After the formation of Kodo, Chieko made a niche for herself as a female and for her original style of dancing in the taiko-based Kodo performance. Since then, she has incorporated elements of Japanese folk dance, such as Tsugaru Te-odori, and Balinese dance into her routine. Throughout her career, she has made several journeys to different parts of Japan in order to study with local practitioners of such folk performing arts as O-tsugunai Kagura, Kurokawa Sansa, Nishimonai Bon-dance, and Ayako-mai. In 1998 she was commissioned to choreograph a dance for a local dance group in Shizuoka prefecture to be performed at the premiere of the Kawaguchi-ko Festival.

Yoko Fujimoto
Born in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Yoko graduated from the NHK School for the Development of Skill in Japanese Music. In 1976, Yoko became a member of the Ondekoza. After singing, dancing and playing koto with the group, Yoko started to edit the newsletter of the newly-formed Kodo. Since a 1988 concert appearance with another Kodo member, Motofumi Yamaguchi, Yoko has started singing once again -- to all of our delight.  Yoko has also been actively involved in passing on the art of singing to workshop participants in the "Voice Circles" she has held on Sado Island since 1995. Recently, she has been making regular visits to Hokkaido to research the local song traditions of the Ainu. Yoko has just returned from a performance and recording project with "Circle of Fire," a collaboration of Japanese-American, Indian, Japanese, and American musicians.

Mitsue Kinjo
Okinawa-native Mitsue Kinjo entered the Okinawan dance troupe "Hana no Kai" in 1979 and was trained by Takako Sato. It was through her activities in Okinawan dance that Mitsue first encountered Kodo. After receiving the Okinawa Times Highest Award for Achievement in the Performing Arts, Mitsue went on a extensive performing tour of Taiwan and Japan. Later, Mitsue married a Kodo member and moved to Sado Island.  Mitsue first participated in the Kodo Village Festival as a member of Hanayui, and has continued to participate as a dancer in other capacities since then. In 1995, she became a certified master of Okinawan dance and opened a dance studio two years later. Recently, she has served as an instructor of Okinawan dance at the Kodo Cultural Foundation’s Apprentice Centre.

Hana Yui will be joined by Sado Island puppeteer Johnny Wales.

Torontonian Johnny Wales first travelled to Japan in 1975 while studying Asian culture at the University of Toronto. There he met Mr. Moritaro Hamada, master of Bunya Ningyo puppet drama and Ondekoza, the forerunner of Kodo. Since helping to produce their first Canadian performances in 1976, Johnny has worked in many capacities with Kodo, including those of translator, interpreter, lighting director, and illustrator and founding editor of the Kodo Beat. In 1977, he travelled to Sado Island to study Bunya puppetry full time under Mr. Hamada. By 1978 he was teaching members of Kodo and local school children under Mr. Hamada's aegis. Since then he has performed Bunya puppets throughout Japan, Canada, France and Great Britain. He is also and illustrator and his watercolour paintings and commentary in Japanese about Tokyo have been published each week in the world’s largest circulation newspaper, The Youmiuri Shimbun. Johnny lives with his wife Chieko in an old farmhouse on Sado Island.
Find out more about Johnny Wales at:

The shows at Lilian Baylis are SOLD OUT