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.

Drum Making 1983

Drum Making 1983

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 Winnipeg and Manitoba, as well as in the local Japanese Canadian community, Hinode Taiko performs regularly at high-profile public events including Folklorama and Asian Heritage events in and around Winnipeg, as well as at charity and fund-raising events. 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, Hinode Taiko held their 35th Anniversary Concert under the leadership of then guest Concert Artistic Director Yuko Nozoe. This event brought current and former members together for two successful performances, giving “grateful thanks” (kansha) for those who went before. In May 2020, Nozoe was appointed Artistic Director of Hinode Taiko. Two years later, the group held another milestone concert for their 40th anniversary which showcased a number of new songs written by Nozoe for the event.

With each event and performance, Hinode Taiko strives to honour its origins as well as demonstrate growth and momentum as the organization moves forward.

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