We play approximately 50 shows a year across the country, particularly in Missouri and the Midwest, for audiences ranging from dozens to thousands. We perform and give workshops at international festivals, concert halls, businesses, schools, universities, conventions, parades and fundraisers. Some past performances include the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden, El Monstero at The Pageant and the St. Lou Fringe Festival.
Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi formed the original Osuwa Daiko in Suwa, Japan, in 1951. In 1986, Oguchi-sensei visited St. Louis (sister city of Suwa) to found St. Louis Osuwa Taiko. A year later, he donated drums. St. Louis Osuwa Taiko started out as a kids' group but has evolved to a nonprofit organization devoted to sharing taiko throughout Missouri and elsewhere through year-round performances, workshops and classes for children, adults, and seniors.
We also continue to build on our ties to Osuwa Daiko. We visited Suwa, Japan, in 2009 to play and study taiko and hosted Osuwa Daiko for a joint show in 2011 in St. Louis to celebrate the 25th anniversary of St. Louis Osuwa Taiko. We believe in preserving and fostering our sister-city relationship with Osuwa Daiko and Suwa, Japan, and acting as cultural ambassadors by introducing new audiences to taiko.
Our largest show each year is at the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Labor Day weekend. Thousands attend the festival, which has fun activities for all ages, including the Dashi procession, where children pull our Dashi, or portable drum stage on wheels, through the garden.
St. Louis Osuwa Taiko performs and teaches taiko, the art of Japanese ensemble drumming, at international festivals, concert halls, businesses, schools, universities, conventions, parades and fundraisers. The group performs primarily in Missouri and the Midwest. In doing so, St. Louis Osuwa Taiko helps preserve and contribute to the performance art while bringing enjoyment to the community and fostering an understanding between Japanese and American cultures. The father of ensemble taiko, Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi, founded St. Louis Osuwa Taiko in 1986, several decades after forming his original group, Osuwa Daiko, at the Suwa Taisha shrine in St. Louis' sister city, Suwa, Japan.
The soundtrack is Tsurugi No Mai, or "dance of the swords," a St. Louis Osuwa Taiko original. Videography by Brittany Larimore and James Westbrook, art direction assistance by Julie Wiese, editing assistance by Joel Balestra.
A documentary about our group and the creation of one of our original songs, Oni-Daiko, or "demon drumming."
- Asian American Chamber of Commerce
- Circus Harmony
- Compton Heights Band
- Dance St. Louis
- El Monstero
- Family Court Center Educational Program
- First Night Columbia
- Japan America Society Women's Association
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Lake Arts Council
- Missouri Asian American Bar Association
- Missouri Botanical Garden
- Missouri Scholars Academy
- Shakespeare Festival St. Louis
- St. Louis Art Fair
- St. Lou Fringe
- St. Louis Japanese Language School
- United Nations Association-St. Louis Chapter
- Wells Fargo Advisors
- Webster University
Email us to book an interview or request more information.