Bon Taiko Lesson – Yagi Bushi
This Bon Taiko lesson will focus on Yagi Bushi. Yagi Bushi is a popular song from both Gunma and Tochigi Prefectures performed at Yose theatres, the rough equivalent of American vaudeville theatres. In a more “traditional” context, Yagi Bushi is played on sake barrels instead of drums.
The exact origins of the song are the subject of debate. Most people agree that Yagi Bushi, as we know it today, was developed around 1914 by Genta Horigome. He is credited with creating the long vocal phrasings, and adding instruments such as the fue, kane, and sake barrel.
It’s likely that Genta Horigome incorporated elements of many local Minyo styles. It’s also likely that he travelled throughout the region, further contributing to the ambiguity of the song’s exact geographic origin.