The Sound of Japan is back again

November 9 @ Kongresové centrum Praha

The legendary Yamato drummers are coming to Prague. With their new program, based on the sound of the human heartbeat, they are bringing 16 drummers and more than 30 drums to the stage.

This is drums on steroids. It’s the spirit of Japan.

Yamato is an ensemble of Taiko, the 'fat', massive, classical Japanese drums, which can weigh up to 500 kg. The group was created in 1993, and they perform every year in more than 51 countries around the world. This year, they will visit several cities in the Czech Republic as part of their European tour, closing in Prague, Wednesday, November 9th.

Taiko has its roots in Japanese mythology, when the storm god, Susawono no Mikoto, decided one day to leave the sea and come to the land to torment it with his rage. His sister, the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami, angered by his behavior, sealed herself in a cave, vowing never to come out. As all life fell into darkness and despair without her light, the gods gathered outside her cave and tried all they could to bring her out, but their efforts were to no avail.

It was then when Ama no Uzume no Mikoto, a small, old goddess, under the contemptuous look of the gods, began dancing frenetically on the head of an empty sake barrel. The rhythm was so energetic and contagious that it made all the gods dance and Amaterasu come out of her cave. Light came back to earth and Taiko music was born.

Legend aside, the history of the Taiko can be traced back to 588 AD and their sound has accompanied Japanese military, religious and cultural rituals since this time. Nowadays, this drum is a very familiar instrument for the Japanese and still holds an important role in rituals and events across the country.

It is “the sound of Japan itself,” as Masa Ogawa, Yamato's artistic director likes to say.

We are amazed at contemporary Japanese cultural expressions often because of their weirdness, but mostly because of their attention to detail, their devotion to make every drawing, every gesture, every sound unique.

And although it's fairly easy to learn about manga or martial arts in the West, Japanese music remains a mystery for most of us. Luckily, now we have an opportunity to charge our souls with the energy of the traditional Japanese drums.

Some critics describe attending a Yamato performance as a 'breathtaking' and an 'exhilarating' experience, but don't settle for their reviews. COME and see it for yourself. You will likely leave, as Yamato drummers hope, with “a new vitality and passion for life.”

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