Hinode Taiko (Rising Sun Drums) of Winnipeg was founded in 1982 by a core group of enthusiasts who participated in a taiko workshop sponsored by the Manitoba Japanese Canadian Citizens’ Association. Eager to further this Japanese art form in Manitoba, they formed the first taiko group on the Canadian Prairies. In 1995, Hinode Taiko incorporated as a not-for profit charitable organization.
From its origins, Hinode Taiko has studied with a number of taiko groups and performers from across Canada, the U.S. and Japan. Under the direction of original Artistic Director, Pamela Okano (1984-2008), Hinode Taiko successfully hosted three national Taiko Festivals in Winnipeg (1991, 1994, 1997), bringing all the taiko groups in Canada together to share in performances and workshops. In addition, the group has presented guest artists from San Jose Taiko, New York Soh Daiko, On Ensemble of Los Angeles, and leading members of Kodo of Sado Island, Japan. Hinode Taiko was the only Canadian group invited to perform at the landmark North American Taiko Conference “Taiko Jam” in 1997 (Los Angeles), and the first group ever to be invited back for a repeat performance at “Taiko Jam” in 2003. In 1996 and 1999 Hinode Taiko travelled to Japan, performing at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, the Setagaya summer festival, and the Extasia International Taiko Festival in Matto. In 2004, working with producer Dan Donahue, the group released their CD, Hinode Taiko, all original compositions.
With strong roots in their local Winnipeg community, Hinode performs regularly at select high-profile public engagements, as well as charity and fund-raising events. Their high-energy interactive performance can be seen at a variety of venues ranging from outdoor mainstages and concert auditoriums to community centres and school gyms.
Hinode Taiko incorporated as a not-for-profit charitable organization in 1995; donations are tax-deductible. The group continues to share the art and appreciation of taiko through frequent seminars and workshops.
With strong roots in Winnipeg and Manitoba, as well as in the local Japanese Canadian community, Hinode Taiko performs regularly at high-profile public events including Folklorama, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, and Asian Heritage events in and around Winnipeg, as well as at charity and fund-raising events such as Run for the Cure and Parkinson’s Walk. All members of Hinode Taiko are members of JCAM, and seek to stay involved in, and support the Japanese Canadian community by volunteering and supporting community events. In addition to performing, Hinode Taiko aims to educate the broader community about the art of taiko, through adult workshops, a school Outreach Program, and regular Beginner Classes.
In November 2017, under the leadership of then guest Concert Artistic Director Yuko Nozoe, Hinode Taiko held their 35th Anniversary Concert, “Kansha”, at the Founder’s Studio, RWB. This event brought current and former members together for two successful performances, giving “grateful thanks” (kansha) for those who went before. Yuko, who was appointed Artistic Director of Hinode Taiko in May 2020, is leading the group as they prepare for their 40th anniversary in 2022. While the anniversary will honour the origins of Hinode Taiko, it is also an opportunity to demonstrate growth and momentum as the organization moves forward.