Bon Taiko Lesson – Yagi Bushi

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.

Bon Taiko Lesson - Yagi Bushi

Yagi Bushi Lyrics

Here comes the triangular man (trouble maker)
Who will play the drums on the square stage
The singer asks your forgiveness
Of the various lyrics and missed beats
As we begin our song

Here is the story of Kunisada Chuji
He’s from Joshu, specifically Sawago-ori (modern day Gunma Prefecture)
His father’s name is Chubei
And Chuji is his second son
He’s been a man’s man from the time he was born
Helping his village and standing up for others

With a fortune to make anyone jealous
He makes his living as a money lender (casino owner)
Gambling the day away
Gambling the day away

I wish to tell you more
While a long story by a good storyteller is one thing
A long story told by a bad storyteller is quite another
I shall end my song before the audience demands that I do so
And yield the stage to the next act

Bon Daiko Classes at Los Angeles Taiko Institute

I teach Bon Daiko every Friday night from 8-10PM at Los Angeles Taiko Institute in Torrance, CA. Please let me know when you would like to drop in!

Date and Time: Fridays from 8-10PM
Place: 20909 S Western Ave Torrance, CA 90501
Fees: $26 per session

Learn Taiko - Bon Daiko Lesson Series

Private Lessons and Skype Lessons

I also offer private lessons and online taiko lessons via Skype from my studio in San Pedro. Please let me know when you would like to schedule a lesson!

Place: 1300 S Beacon Street San Pedro, CA 90731
Fees: Private Lessons $60/hr, Skype lessons $40/hr

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