A Taiko drum demonstration at the Empire Theatre on Wednesday, March 7 will have a deep cross cultural as well as a musical resonance for the citizens of the Toowoomba Region and Japanese Sister City, Takatsuki.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the drums were a symbol of the strong bonds that our region has with the Takatsuki community.
“The Takatsuki community raised more than $5,000 (around ¥500,000) to purchase Taiko drums to be donated to the Toowoomba Taiko Group,” Mayor Antonio said.
“The purpose of the donation by the Takatsuki delegation was to provide our region with increased opportunities to participate in Japanese cultural activities and to highlight the long-standing relationship between our two cities.
“Last week a small Toowoomba Region delegation attended the Wadaiko Festival, a traditional drumming festival in Takatsuki, where the drums were ceremonially presented to our region.
Toowoomba Regional Council Planning and Development Committee chair Cr Chris Tait, who accompanied the delegation, said this was a very generous donation to our community by our Sister City, Takatsuki.
“The people of Takatsuki truly embrace the relationship with our Toowoomba Region,” Cr Tait said.
“The community formed the ‘Donate Taiko to Toowoomba’ committee with support of the Council, to purchase the drums.
“The Takatsuki community really got behind this campaign to provide for a need in our region.
“The use of Taiko drums in our region has grown from the evolving relationship with our Sister City, Takatsuki.
“As part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Sister City relationship, the Takatsuki Taiko Drum Group visited Toowoomba to share their love of Taiko drumming with our community.
“Following the visit a Toowoomba Taiko Group was formed and has been learning the Taiko drumming techniques through videos provided by the Takatsuki Daiko Drum Group.
“The Toowoomba Taiko Group did not have access to actual Taiko drums and instead practised on large pots taped with packing tape.
“Takatsuki put a call out to their community for donations for the purchase of Taiko drums as a gift to the Toowoomba community and the drums were purchased.
“While Toowoomba Regional Council will be the custodians of the drums, they will be made available for use by the Toowoomba Taiko Group.
“The Toowoomba Taiko group will benefit greatly from having access to high quality drums for their use.”
Cr Tait said a small delegation of Toowoomba business people and the Toowoomba Taiko Group travelled to Takatsuki to receive the drums on behalf of the Toowoomba Region.
“During our visit we met with the Mayor and Councillors of Takatsuki and were guests at the Wadaiko Festival where the community presented us with the Taiko drums,” Cr Tait said.
“Local business owner Jeff Brady joined the delegation to investigate pre-packaged products and local recipes from Takatsuki for his Kajoku Restaurant.
Cr Tait said the purpose of the Sister City program was to enhance cultural exchanges between the cities and to foster strong business opportunities.
“The Sister City relationship with Takatsuki is now in its 26th year and the tremendous generosity of the people of this wonderful city displays the strength of the ties that bind our two communities.
“A demonstration of the new Taiko Drums will be held at the Empire Theatre.”
Toowoomba Taiko is a group of Japanese expatriates and enthusiasts who meet to learn the discipline of Taiko drumming. The Toowoomba Taiko Group is part of the USQ Martial Arts Club and currently meets weekly.
The donated Taiko Drums will be on display at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery from the 8th March for 3 weeks.
For more information about Toowoomba Region Sister City relationships, visit http://tr.qld.gov.au/about-council/sister-cities/about-sister-cities/1142-our-sister-cities
For information about the Toowoomba Taiko Group go to http://www.bbrd.org.au/taiko/