The Taiko Network – How Our Community is Connected

For years, taiko scholars have asked the age-old question: where did we come from? The answer to this question goes far beyond what we’re prepared to dive into in this post, but suffice it to say, we all came from somewhere.

In taiko, TCA’s Taiko Census team took this question and for years has been using it to frame how we talk about the evolution of our taiko community. Through ongoing initiatives like the Taiko Census, we continue to collect information and fill in the pieces of this ever-expanding puzzle.

This year, however, Taiko Census team member Josh Yoon ran with this question under a different lens: how does where we came from determine how we are all connected?

If you play taiko, think about the people you have played with. If you have played with multiple groups, the members of each of those groups are now connected – through you. If you are new to taiko and a member of your first ever group, you may feel like you are only a small part of a larger picture. But, each person in your group who has played with another group, and each person who has left your group and joined another group connects you to those other groups. Suddenly, even as a brand new taiko player, you are connected to hundreds of other players, maybe across the globe.

While the Taiko Census team continues to work on TCA’s 2020 Taiko Census Report to publicly share a wealth of information about what our taiko community snapshot has taught us this year, Josh took just one facet of the 2020 Taiko Census and generated TCA’s first Taiko Group Social Network – a map of the 496 taiko groups and how they are connected by 992 individuals who completed the 2020 Taiko Census.

Take a look at the final product below and see what you can discover. Where are you on this map, and who are you connected to? Any surprises? We hope this can be a jumping-off point for some great conversations among groups about their connected histories, but also, we hope that seeing a diagram like this further empowers and reminds us all that despite the unusual and unfortunate situations we have been faced with over the past year and even in years to come, taiko connects and brings us all together no matter how far apart we are.

Click here to Download the Taiko Social Network Poster

How to read this map: Generated based on the results we received during the 2020 Taiko Census, each circle represents one group, ensemble, or solo artist. The connecting lines between the circles reflect overlaps in membership. For example, a line drawn between Stanford Taiko and Jun Daiko indicates that at least one person was at some time a member of both groups, connecting them now indefinitely.

While physical copies of this poster are not yet available to the general public, winners from among the many individuals who completed the 2020 Taiko Census have been selected to receive a Limited Edition Printing of TCA’s Taiko Social Network. Much thanks and appreciation goes to Josh Yoon for both creating and printing this amazing piece!

Congratulations to our winners:

  • Ami Akimoto
  • James Barrow
  • Ron Collins
  • Claire Huang
  • Emily Ihara
  • Mila Mendez
  • Gregory Shimizu
  • Joy Tanaka

Thank you all – and to the community as a whole – for your contributions to TCA’s 2020 Taiko Census. We could not continue to learn, grow, and stay connected without your support.

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