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Group Lessons

Group Lessons

Group Lessons are a great way for you and your taiko group to learn from some of Japan’s top instructors. Yoichi Watanabe, leader of Amanojaku, is recognized as one of the greatest masters and composers of the traditional Japanese art form. In his 30 years as a performer and instructor, Mr. Watanabe has taught as well as composed pieces for over 50 groups throughout the world.

The backbone of Mr. Watanabe’s playing style is fundamentals. “Good fundamentals will open the door to playing and expressing anything that you want,” says Mr. Watanabe. If you are a beginning to intermediate player, learning fundamental techniques, movements, and basic rhythms that will add a whole new flavor to your group’s existing pieces.

If you are a more experienced player, you can learn Kabuki sound effects that will make your drum sound as powerful and unforgiving as crashing waves, or as sensitive and delicate as falling snow. You can also learn how the voice is used in Noh theatre to create space and tension through unspoken notes.

From 2004-2008, Mr. Watanabe has traveled across the globe, teaching youth groups in Brazil, as well as several taiko groups in the United States. As a culmination of his work, Mr. Watanabe’s joint composition with Osuwa Daiko leader Daihachi Oguchi, “Kizuna” was played by 1,200 Japanese-Brazilian taiko drummers in Sao Paulo to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Japanese Immigration to Brazil. His compositions “Brazil Taiko Bayashi” and “Kenka Yatai” have become standards in Brazil, played by over 60 taiko groups throughout the nation.

Group Lesson Itinerary

Duration: at least 120 minutes
Possible Venues: gymnasiums, studios, concert halls, etc. (Please book a venue beforehand. If you do not have enough drums, we can arrange for additional instruments.)
Instructor: Yoichi Watanabe, additional instructors depending on the number of attendees
Content: Contact us to discuss what areas you would like to work on.
Instruments: Nagadou, Shime, Uchiwa, Hirado, Chappa, Okedo

Please feel free to contact us with questions, comments or requests. >>

Group Lessons Conducted in the Past

Group Name Location Leader Composition  
Odate Magewappa Taiko Odate-shi Akita-Ken Junkichi Tabata
  • Arashi
  • Sengoku
EcchuOshima Taiko Oshima-tyo Toyama-Ken Toyokazu Hotta
  • Yukiguni
  • Hyakunen Taiko
Arranged existing piece,Lessons
Heike Taiko Gokayama Toyama-Ken 図書恒園
  • Kokiriko
Joshu Kanrei Taiko Fujioka-Shi Gunma-Ken 上原徳夫
  • Otoko no Matsuri
OTAIKO za Myojin Nyuu-Gun Echizen-Tyo Masaru Uesaka
  • Yumekaigan
  • Afrecan Beat
Yoshitsune Benkei Taiko Mogami-Tyo Yamagata-Ken 板垣喜和衛門
  • Yoshitsune to Benkei
Hisagawajo Taiko Minamiaizu-machi Fukushima-Ken Hidetomo Baba
  • Onbe no Mai
  • Hisagawajo Kassen Taiko
Taikoshudan Sakigake Kihoku-tyo Ehime-Ken Kenzo Urata
  • Seiryu to Yakudo
  • Sairei
Onishi Misugi Taiko Fujioka-Shi Gunma-Ken 野口秀平
  • Shin Gi Tai
Arranged existing piece,Lessons
Joshu Azuma Taiko Azuma-Mura Gunma-Ken Hiroshi Miyauchi
  • Chuji Abare Taiko
  • Zenshin Zenrei
Amanojaku Hozonkai Nerima-Ku Tokyo Seiichi Yoshinari
  • Agari Yatai
Makigari Taiko Kuroiso-shi Tochigi-Ken Kuroiso Town Hall   Lessons
Nikko Suginamiki Taiko Imaichi-Shi Tochigi-Ken Imaichi Town Hall
  • Nantai Oroshi
Ayutsubo Fujimi Taiko Nagaizumi-Tyo Shizuokaken Norio Tsuchiya
  • Ten Chi Jin
  • Kirameki

Amanojaku Hozonkai (Amanojaku Student Group)

  • Amanojaku Hozonkai
  • Amanojaku Hozonkai

Taikoshudan Sakigake

  • Taikoshudan Sakigake
  • Taikoshudan Sakigake

Otaiko za Myojin

  • Otaiko za Myojin
  • Otaiko za Myojin

Joshu Azuma Taiko

  • Joshu Azuma Taiko
  • Joshu Azuma Taiko

Nikko Suginamiki Taiko

  • Nikko Suginamiki Taiko

Yamanashi-ken Taiko Foundation

  • Yamanashi-ken Taiko Foundation
  • Yamanashi-ken Taiko Foundation

Odaiko Training

Yoichi Watanabe has trained 6 national Odaiko contest champions and several prize-winning competitors, a feat that requires not only first-class tutelage, but fantastic composition as well. The tough training is well worth the reward of becoming a better Odaiko player.

  • Odaiko Training
  • Odaiko Training

Odaiko Competitions

  • All-Japan OTAIKO Contest
  • Mt. Fuji Taiko Matsuri Odaiko Contest
  • Hokkaido Odaiko Contest

Odaiko Champions

  • Isaku Kageyama (Amanojaku Hozonkai)
  • Makoto Baba (Amanojaku Hozonkai)
  • Yoshikatsu Takada (Taikoshudan Sakigake)
  • Shinsuke Irita (Taikoshudan Sakigake)
  • Shinobu Osawa (Odate Magewappa Taiko)
  • Akihito Ishii (Odate Magewappa Taiko)


  • Nobuaki Fueukawa
  • Tetsuko Tsuchiya
  • Akiko Tsuchiya
  • Michiyo Ogawa
  • Toru Miyata
  • Hiromi Sekine
  • Chris Holland