[Fellow Interview]The practice of taiko at the AYF – Meet the female taiko team  

Posted on November 8, 2018 by Awaji Youth Federation | Awaji, Culture
AYF -girls Taiko team: Fifita (Tonga), Maryem (Tunisia), Maddison (Australia) and Amanda (America).

  • Category: #Interview #Awaji #Culture
  • Interview date: Oct 1st , 2018
  • Writer: Kamil Orbisso


AYF -girls Taiko team: Fifita (Tonga), Maryem (Tunisia), Maddison (Australia) and Amanda (America).


Fifita TUPOU


I was the first AYF Fellow to play Wadaiko in Awaji Island. Being taught by Japanese taiko drummers is one of the best things I have ever experienced in life. It releases stress, gives you a sense of calmness and boosts your health and wellbeing. I have been performing with Japanese drummers in events and ceremonies around Awaji Island. Coming from a musical background, it took me about one and a half months to practice taiko. I had the opportunity to practice with Pasona’s main taiko team, Kotan.

I hope to encourage students in Tonga to learn Japanese cultural instruments such as Wadaiko and open the doors to Taiko for people all around the world. I really love playing Taiko and will never get tired of it. I will make the most of it while I am in Japan.


Amanda Rogers


Music has been a part of my life since I began learning how to play the piano at age six. My twelve years of piano lesson experience has given me the ability to break down music in my mind and express the notes throughout my fingertips from my soul. Years later after piano lessons, as a boulderer, I began to experience my body’s capacities through my arms by gaining strength and control through climbing. Learning to play taiko was a merging of sensations between learning to control the endurance and rhythm of my arms through musical vibrations.

I am incredibly grateful for the taiko experience I have gained at AYF.


Maryem Samet


Taiko drumming was such an exciting experience for me. The drum is a local instrument on my island, Kerkennah in Tunisia. At home, I used to play the drum for fun, yet never imagined I would find myself learning to play it in Japan. Upon joining AYF, we had the opportunity to watch taiko team Kotan in the annual One Step performance and thanks to that I gained an interest in taiko.

Learning a musical instrument is a brain exercise activity which enhances productivity and memory capacity. Taiko is a high-intensity activity and requires your whole body, offering the benefits of both sports and music.


Maddison Ryan


Japan is a nation that takes pride in holding onto its traditions and values in a modernised world. The values of Japanese society are strongly rooted in its culture and I feel there is much that can be learned by delving into this culture. Taiko is one of Japan’s most traditional and meaningful forms of performing arts and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to learn taiko through Awaji Youth Federation.

Learning to play taiko to a song original to Awaji Island made the experience unique, and the feeling of standing on the stage, putting my power and spirit into a traditional Japanese instrument with females from all parts of the globe, was one I’ll never forget.

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