From the Base of Mt. Fuji
Ondekoza was formed in 1969 under the direction of its founder, Den Tagayasu. The group was originally created on the Japanese island of Sado, where a group of young men and women gathered to follow the ideals of Den Tagayasu. Since then Ondekoza has expanded across Japan and the rest of the world, popularizing taiko along the way. They are widely recognized as one of groups to have set the groundwork for taiko as a performance art.
At the foundation of Ondekoza’s activity is the principle of “Sogakuron”- that “running and drumming are one, and a reflection of the drama and energy of life”.
Living in the city of Fuji in Shizuoka, Japan, Ondekoza members live together and run together at the base of Mt. Fuji.
As of 2008, Ondekoza launched a new project under the title of “Music & Rhythms”. The project aims to “connect the children of world through musical experience”. Not limiting itself to taiko drums, the project uses a creative variety of expressive tools to promote the freedom of expression and the limitless possibilities it brings.
Beginnings of Ondekoza
In 1975, Ondekoza made their dramatic international debut in Boston, USA, where upon completing the Boston Marathon, members immediately ran onto stage to perform on their 350kg ‘Odaiko’ drum.
Ondekoza began their acclaimed “US Marathon Tour” in 1990, starting with a performance at Carnegie Hall. The tour was completed entirely on foot- members ran a total of 14,910km around the outer edges of the United States while performing throughout the country- an unprecedented achievement.
In 1998, the group began their “China Marathon Tour”, another ‘running’ tour spanning 12,500km. By 2000, Ondekoza had run from Shanghai to Hong Kong, through Kunming and eventually to Xi’an.
In 2004, Ondekoza once again ran the Boston Marathon, following it with a performance that called out for World Peace. 2005 marked the completion of the “Taiwan Marathon Tour”, followed by a European tour of Croatia, Italy, Switzerland and Germany in 2006, and a return to Italy as well as the Balkan Peninsula in 2008.
2008 marked Ondekoza’s 40th Year Anniversary, and the beginning of the “Kikon-Ichida” Live Tour which started with a show at National Theater of Japan. In 2009, Ondekoza performed for the Japanese Emperor in a celebration for the 20th anniversary of the Emperor’s accession to the Throne.
Ondekoza continually strives to face greater challenges- their journey continues today as they run and drum across the globe.