Omiyage means "gift." This song was written by Shoji Kameda in 2004 as a gift to the worldwide taiko community as a way to encourage a spirit of generosity amongst taiko performers.
Nen Daiko originally learned the song from Shoji many years ago. In 2020, they invited Yuta Kato to help us formalize "our story" for the song.
In our story of Omiyage, the shime, okedo and odaiko performers represent "the spirit of taiko." From the initial beats of the song, they are calling the chu performers and encouraging them to play. The chu performers enter on to the stage and respond joyously to the spirit of taiko.
The chu performers are filled with joy when they first hit the drum. They are thinking, "this is amazing! I want to play that!" Their excitement builds as they continue to play.
During the next part of the song, each chu performer does a solo. They are finding their own voice in taiko. Do they love the feeling of speed, grace, power? They are fully themselves. The other performers cheer them on as they explore their taiko identity.
As the song builds in energy and the group plays together more, this represents how we grow in awareness of each other. Taiko is all about playing together or kumi-daiko.
Nen Daiko members practice together almost every week for many hours. The end of the song represents the growing commitment to each other and our mission of sharing taiko with the world!
Nen Daiko performing a snippet of Omiyage at the Sakura Taiko Fest, March 2022 - Video by Brant Horio
Header photo by Raymond Fudge, Sakura Taiko Fest, March 2022