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Video: USA Today On Emotional Kodo Drum Performance at Asia Society




Kodo, the famous Japanese Taiko troupe, gave a rousing and heartfelt performance yesterday at the Asia Society in New York. The event was originally intended to celebrate Kodo's 30-year anniversary, but with the performers' minds focused on family and friends back home, the evening took on greater significance.

For the members of Kodo, the world-renowned drum and dance ensemble, the shock of the earthquake in their home country of Japan is difficult to process. "It's a very weird feeling to be away from home now," said Kodo company manager Jun Akimoto, who added that it took some members of the group more than 48 hours to confirm that their family members had survived the quake and its aftermath.

Kodo, nearing the end of a North American tour, performed its celebrated approach to the art of Taiko, or Japanese ensemble drumming, at the Asia Society on Monday. The group will perform next week during Carnegie Hall's citywide festival JapanNYC. Kodo is scheduled to return home March 24, but Akimoto says the group remains focused on performing: "What we are trying to do right now is bring our best performance until the end of this tour."

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