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Japanese – Irish Music Fusion at the 2019 Experience Japan Hanami Festival

on Sunday 7th April [Free & Family Friendly] and at Concerts in Galway on 4th April and in Dublin on 5th April

We are delighted to announce that the Experience Japan Festival Committee is organizing a unique fusion music concert on April 4th in Galway at the An Taibhdhearc and 5th in Dublin at the Smock Alley Theatre.

Experience Japan is the community organization to encourage Irish citizens to appreciate and encourage cultural exchange between both countries.  The Experience Japan Hanami Festival is held once a year in Farmleigh House and Estate with an average over of 20,000 people attending and has lots of cross-cultural experiences.

Each year one of the highlights are the fusion performances with Japanese taiko drumming and Irish music.  Over the ten years of the festival, the Experience Japan Taiko Team has developed and expanded these activities with the team being recognised by the Japanese Government for the high standards achieved (in the form of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Commendation Award).  The EJ Taiko team has also performed at many different events and concerts such as Dublin New Year Festival, GAA, Women’s Rugby World Cup, Dublin Convention Centre and in 2016 the junior members performing on the Late Late Toy Show.

This year, for the 10th Anniversary Festival we have Taiko Masters and global award-winning, Hiro Hayashida who is a former member of Kodo (the World renowned taiko drum team) and his colleagues, Luke Takahashi and Miyu Kobayashi (award-winning Shinobue performer) joining the festival from Japan.  In addition, we have a young award-winning Shamisen performer, Hibiki Sawada, also travelling from Japan.  For this special Anniversary year, we are hosting two extra concerts.  At the Dublin Concert and at the Festival in Farmleigh the four Japanese performers will be joined by traditional Irish musicians (including Robbie Walsh and Junshi Murakami) we are confident that their powerful and vibrant performances will impress the Irish audience.

In cooperation with the Department of Education and Skills’s PPLI (Post-Primary Languages Initiative), we have invited secondary students who are studying Japanese as a Leaving Certificate subject to see a demonstration of the Taiko Drums with Hiro Hayashida before the Smock Alley’s concert at 1.30pm.  During the concert, Taiko Drum Master, Hiro and his colleagues will perform with top Irish Badhran player, Robbie Walsh and we also have Japanese Shamisen (traditional string instrument), Shinobue (Japanese flute) and Shakuhachi (Japanese longitudinal, end-blown bamboo-flute) joined by a selection of Irish instruments including the Uilleann Pipes and the Irish Harp.

It will be a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to see this performance and we know that those that can make it will have a memorable experience.

If you would like to highlight any of our activities, we would be very happy to cooperate and support you in doing this.

This year, with the Rugby World Cup in Japan, and next year the Tokyo Olympic, we will be very happy to help Irish people prepare for those big sporting events and gain an insight into what is Japan!

More Information - Contact Hugo O’ / 087-6253000


Hiro Hayashida is Japan’s leading Taiko performer who appeared at FIFA world cup closing ceremony in France, Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany and has performed dramatic and powerful Taiko Drumming Shows in 33 countries around the world including Singapore, Holland, France, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Germany, UK, Hawaii, Guatemala, Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, China, Senegal and USA.

Prior to the Dublin Master Class Hiro is in the UK with his Super Junior Taiko team at the Billingham World Folklore Festival.


Experience Japan Taiko Team

Founded in 2010 by Nobuko Ijichi, the Experience Japan Taiko Team is made up of UCD students later integrating Japanese-Irish secondary and primary students.  The EJ Taiko Team has had major success and is in increasing demand to perform at public and high-profile events (+20 per year) highlighting cultural and friendship links between Japan-Ireland and with other cultural and heritage groups. Special performances include celebrations for the 60th anniversary of Japan-Ireland diplomatic relations; national and international sporting events including Ireland-Japan Rugby matches and the GAA World Games Series, Dublin City Council New Year Festival and many more.  Their performances always attract large crowds across the generations, drawn in by the dynamic rhythms and the excitement of intercultural discovery and experience.

Permalink - Posted: March 27, 2019 at 10:08 am