A.YA and Dokkoisa Wachi Kai presents: Kodo Duo "Ninin Angya" (二人行脚)
with A.YA, Melbourne Shinobue Kai and Dokkoisa Wachi KaiPhoto Credit: Takashi Okamoto
“Ninin-Angya” means “a duo’s pilgrimage". It is a duo project by Yoshikazu Fujimoto & Yoko Fujimoto, who are distinguished members of Kodo, Japan’s acclaimed taiko performing arts ensemble.
Yoshikazu and Yoko met four decades ago as members of Kodo’s antecedent group, Sado no Kuni Ondekoza, and they have been married for over three decades. They have encountered many sounds and songs on Sado Island, on their travels, and throughout their years with Kodo. Thanks to their personal journeys as performers, coupled with their shared life experience, they create unique energy and feel-good sound whenever they perform together.
Their performances feature Sado Island folk songs, stories told through song, tunes from around Japan, and of course, taiko. As they share music and their love for the arts, they weave tales of their various experiences to date into the programme, which creates a warm, engaging performance every time.
In 1972, Yoshikazu Fujimoto joined Sado no Kuni Ondekoza, and when the group became Kodo in 1981, he was one of the founding members. For many years, he stood center-stage as the group’s featured O-daiko player and center-man for the Yatai-bayashi climax. He is presently Kodo’s most senior performing member. Yoshikazu Fujimoto is the epitome of the ensemble’s name, which means “Children of the Drum”– he truly loves taiko and always hopes to play with the heart of a child. In 1998, Fujimoto was recognized with the award of inka-no-sho (proof of Dharma transmission) for his proficiency in the demon sword dance, Onikenbai, upheld by Iwasaki Onikenbai in Kitakami, Iwate. Since 2007, he has been the dedicated head of Sado Island’s demon sword dance group, “Iwasaki-den Sado Onikenbai.” In recent years, he has played a large role in educating Kodo apprentices and has also led numerous workshops for the general public. He often makes guest appearances around Japan and performs with Yoko Fujimoto in their song and taiko duo, “Ninin-Angya.” He became a Kodo Distinguished Member in 2012, and that same year was appointed by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs to be a Cultural Envoy, teaching wadaiko in China.
Yoko Fujimoto joined Sado no Kuni Ondekoza in 1976, and went on to become a founding member of Kodo when it formed in 1981. After three years as a performer, she stepped down from the stage to edit the monthly Kodo Japanese-language newsletter and act as an instructor to the apprentices. In 1989, Fujimoto began to sing again and has been a principal vocalist with Kodo ever since. In addition to Kodo, she performs in a range of solo and small-group projects, including “Ninin-Angya” with Yoshikazu Fujimoto and “Hanayui” with Kodo’s Chieko Kojima & Okinawan dancer Mitsue Kinjo. Since 1998, Fujimoto has led “Voice Circle” workshops, one of her self-proclaimed “life works.” In 2008, she released her first solo album, “morisa komorisa.” She became a Kodo Distinguished Member in 2012, and began producing her own solo projects that the same year. In 2014, her second solo album, “Yamazu Megurumo,” was released. In 2016, Fujimoto joined local musicians on Sado Island to launch a new performance project, “Puremu.”
A duo featuring Ayako Tsunazawa and Ayako Fujii.
A.YAʼs sound is a crossover between modern original compositions and traditional styles with unique Japanese instruments. They have performed at many festivals and events around Melbourne, and have also run workshops at primary and secondary schools in Australia. A.YA use a plethora of Japanese instruments to produce an explosion of taiko drum, flute, exciting vocals and more; showcasing both original and well loved Japanese tunes. Their high energy show appeals to young and old. With its fast paced changeover, multi instrumental content and audience participation; A.YA is always a hit.
Melbourne Shinobue Kai
Shinobue (Japanese bamboo flute) practice group in Melbourne led by Ayako Fujii (A.YA)
If you are interested in Shinobue, please join!
Dokkoisa Wachi Kai
Wachi Daiko practice group in Melbourne. Wachi Daiko originates from Wachi, north of Kyoto. The characteristics of this piece include powerful but joyful and exuberant movements. It is said that this style dates back to Heian period about 1000 years ago when village people dedicated taiko drums to encourage and pray for the safety for the people of the village, and also General Yoshimitsu Minamoto, as he tried to banish a demon called “Shuten Doji”.
Doors open: 6.15pm
*Please note: Due to the configuration of the venue, children under 6 years of age will not be admitted.
Library at the Dock Performance Space
Level 2, 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands, Victoria 3008
This event is currently closed and no contact details are available