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Japanese Taiko Ensemble to Perform Saturday, August 22 at Lee Hall Auditorium

The Greater Starkville Development Partnership is proud to sponsor a performance of the Shirohato Taiko Japanese drum ensemble on Saturday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Lee Hall Auditorium. This unique cultural experience is presented by the Japan-America Society of Mississippi and will showcase over 40 drummers performing this traditional Japanese musical genre. Tickets are $5 each and will be available at the door. The performance is part of the ensemble’s short tour of Mississippi, and we are proud that Starkville will have the opportunity to enjoy this taste of Japanese culture.


More from the Japan-America Society of Mississippi:

The Japan-America Society of Mississippi (JASMIS) will be hosting the taiko (Japanese drum) performance ensemble Shirohato Taiko from Sumida, Tokyo, for a series of performances around the state of Mississippi from August 20th to August 26th.

Throughout history, taiko has been used to communicate between troops during warfare, and also to motivate the troops before battle. To this day they are still used frequently in Kabuki and Noh plays, religious ceremonies, and for festivals and concerts. Powerful and expressive, the taiko performance (kumi-daiko) makes for a most exhilarating musical performance, and is best when a large ensemble is performing. 15 members of the 40+ member ensemble will be making their first trip ever to the United States.

“The Japan-America Society is lucky to be hosting these performers and being able to take them to these different venues” said Thom Eason, JASMIS board member and Treasurer. “One of the goals of JASMIS is to try and have genuine Japanese cultural events whenever possible, and my wife Mieko met them last year while we were in Japan for a conference, and she has been working with the group ever since to make this tour logistically possible. Personally, I have always been fascinated with taiko performances and I am looking forward to seeing a group of this size. I was able to meet several of them earlier this summer while we were over there, and I learned many of the members are second and third generation drummers and several of the older members have been doing this since childhood.”

The group will fly in from Tokyo on Wednesday, August 19th with the first performance on Thursday, August 20th in Tupelo, MS at the Tupelo High School Performing Arts Center. There will also be two matinees the following morning for some of the Tupelo school kids. On Saturday, August 22nd the group will be in Starkville, MS at MSU’s Lee Hall Auditorium.

On Sunday, August 23rd, the group will have a brief stop in Jackson for a matinee performance at the Mississippi Children’s Museum to help promote the museum’s upcoming “Hello From Japan” exhibit (scheduled to run this fall and winter) before traveling on to Hattiesburg for a concert on Monday, August 24th at USM’s Mannoni Performing Arts Center.

The final stop on the tour will be Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School on Wednesday the 26th where they will give a matinee performance for the students, with a concert that night for the general public at Saint Andrew’s Performing Arts Center in Ridgeland, MS.

“This will be a very tight schedule for the group, especially since there is no time to really recover from the flight before the first show” said JASMIS board member Mieko Kikuchi. “We hope to be able to squeeze in a few touristy things for them to do during the trip since this will be their first time in this country. We will get to spend some time in the schools where we are doing the matinees, and the younger performers will enjoy meeting children their own age and having lunch and some class time with them. And we will hopefully get to go watch a session at the Capitol while in Jackson, and zoos or any other tours and shopping we can manage some time for. One of the requests I have already received from the group is to take them to an American grocery store because they would like to see for themselves how they are so different from the stores we have in Japan!”

All shows will be general admission tickets available at the door the day of the show. Ticket prices are still being worked out, but tentatively will be $5.00 for general public and JASMIS members. The Hattiesburg show will also be free to all USM students.

Contributing Sponsors for these shows include Nissan North America, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, Greater Starkville Development Partnership, Yokohama Tire Mfg. Mississippi, LLC, Renasant Bank, BancorpSouth, Northeast MS Daily Journal, WTVA, the City of Tupelo, Lee County Chancery Clerk, Auto Parts Mfg. MS, Inc. , Northeast MS Medical Center, BankPlus, Diversity-Vuteq, LLC, Toyota Boshoku Mississippi, LLC, Toyota Tsusho America, Inc., Blue Springs Metals, Magnolia Automotive Services LLC, Green Metals, Inc., Community Development Foundation, and Sakura Bana Restaurant.

About The Japan-America Society of Mississippi

The Japan-America Society of Mississippi is a private, non-profit organization established to serve all Mississippi residents and Japanese nationals with a mutual interest in each other’s economy and culture. The Society strives to serve this dual constituency by sponsoring a wide variety of business- related and cultural programs to benefit its members and the general public. It is tax-exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Japan-America Society of Mississippi is not a political or religious organization, and is not affected by policies of either nation or the State of Mississippi.