Japanese American Taiko group to perform at Berea College

Japanese American Taiko group to perform at Berea College

November 7, 2023

By Paula Keshderian

BEREA, Ky. – Berea College will welcome Japanese Canadian group Fubuki Daiko to campus on Nov. 9 as the third and final musical guest of the Stephenson Memorial Concert Series.

Fubuki Daiko, meaning Blizzard Drums, is a professional Japanese taiko group founded in Winnipeg, Canada in 1995. Three of their members—Hiroshi Koshiyama, Naomi Guilbert and Bruce Robertson—started their career in the San Francisco Taiko Dojo and were trained by the Grandmaster Seiichi Tanka, the founder of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo and the father of North American Taiko. With Taiko Dojo, the three members toured the United States and Japan in the early 1990s and performed at Carnegie Hall in 1994.

After leaving the San Francisco Taiko Dojo, Koshimya and Guilbert formed Fubuki Daiko in Winnipeg and started teaching taiko classes for all ages. The rest of the members, Kimi Guilbert, Giselle Mak, and Lynn Lai, advanced through the ranks of these classes and became part of the ensemble. Koshiyama and Guilbert have been instructors and mentors to taiko groups in Canada and in the U.S. Guilbert also was a guest instructor at Berea College. 

For more than 25 years, Fubuki Daiko has reinvented traditional Japanese drumming with their eclectic and energetic performances that are part martial arts athleticism, part meditation and all rhythm. The ensemble has released two albums: Fubuki and Zanshin. Both albums have 

brought home awards such as the Prairie Music Award for Outstanding Instrumental Recording in 2001 and the Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Album Design in 2005. 

The performance begins at 8 p.m. Thursday in Phelps Stokes Chapel. The event is open to the public.

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 45 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, where students work at least 10 hours a week to earn money for books, housing, and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.