Celebrating Women’s History Month

In celebration of Women’s History Month, our current membership sat down with three very inspiring former members who shaped Soh Daiko from the beginning: Merle Mieko Okada, Teddy Yoshikami, and Jenny Wada.

Merle Mieko is one of Soh Daiko’s co-founders and served as our chairperson from 1979 to 2013. Teddy, a member of Soh Daiko from 1983 to 2013, acted as a principal choreographer, and Jenny, a member between 1983 and 2003, was a key composer of Soh Daiko’s repertoire.

We spoke about how taiko has inspired and empowered them as women, the role women have played in the development of taiko in North America, and more. Check out our highlights from that conversation in this short video.

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Looking Ahead to 2021

This January, we brought in the new year with a virtual Soh Daiko celebration in place of our annual mochitsuki event. Mochitsuki is a traditional New Year’s celebration where mochi is made by steaming rice, pounding it with a large mallet in a stone bowl (called the usu), and molding the fresh mochi into edible bites complete with fillings and toppings.

At past mochitsuki, we invited former Soh Daiko members to the New York Buddhist Church for a day of drumming, singing, making mochi, and eating. Although we were unable to gather in-person this year, we took this time to catch up with one another and revisit old memories over Zoom. We even put together a virtual board of all the things our Soh Daiko family wishes for the group in the year ahead, some of them sillier than others but all reflective of our love for Soh Daiko.

Looking forward, our current members are already hard at work strengthening our technique, rehearsing our repertoire, and preparing for future live performances. We are keeping safe and social distanced with virtual practices, and we wish you all a safe and happy year ahead.

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We are heartbroken and angry. We recognize that the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are among […]

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