Fubuki Daiko



Grade Level: pre k, k, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Language: english and french, Japanese

Regions: Norman, Parklands, Interlake, Westman, Central Plains, Pembina Valley, Eastman, Capital Region



For over 25 years Fubuki Daiko’s members have been teaching the art of taiko (Japanese drumming) to Manitoba students.

Trained by Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka, the father of North American taiko, the group has thrilled audiences throughout Canada, the U.S, Mexico and Poland with their musicianship, humour, and sheer physical stamina. Their debut CD received a Prairie Music Award for Outstanding Instrumental Recording.

Fubuki Daiko employs a culturally specific approach to arts education based on the Japanese concept of Kumi Daiko or group drumming where students learn to work together as a collective unit. Each student is encouraged to find their own voice as they learn to kiai (shout). At the same time, they discover through their co-operation with each other, the instructors, and the drums, that they are part of something greater than themselves. A concept of belonging is generated which is relational and expansive rather than self referential and self-directed.


Fubuki Daiko  work sample Fubuki Daiko  work sample

Project Samples

Short-term residency

On the first day, the entire school is introduced to the art form through a performance by the full ensemble, or by the two visiting artists for residencies over 100 kms from Winnipeg (practice drums may need to be rented or made for rural residencies). On subsequent days, two artists teach students the cultural etiquette of taiko, basic drumming skills, and a simple song. This can give a large number of students a taste of taiko, or provide a smaller number (4-8 groups/week) a more in depth experience. The age-appropriate sessions draw on elements of physical education, music, theatre, dance, science, and ecology all within a Japanese cultural setting. For residencies with more contact time, participants perform for the entire school at the end. While we sometimes venture into songwriting with students, we typically leave this until future visits. A sustained “beginner’s mind” is essential to the learning process and helps the students to remain culturally grounded.

Why two artists?

We team-teach with two artists in the classroom at all times. One artist does most of the teaching, while the other conducts the warm-up exercises, observes, and maintains the basic beat for their colleague on the smaller drums. These roles are alternated, from class to class or within a single session. Benefits: --The artist doing the main instructing can be fully engaged with the students since s/he is not occupied with having to keep up the back-beat. --The artist playing the back-up role can spend extra time observing the students and can pass along their observations to their colleague. --Through their formal interactions with each other, the two artists provide a model for the students of Japanese etiquette and manners. --Regularly alternating the playing of the back-beat enables each artist to give their bodies a much needed rest from the physical demands of drumming for many hours and days at a time.


Hiroshi and Naomi consistently display professionalism and commitment to excellence in their music and the education of children. They live the example of respect for others. This is the Artists in the School program that students always ask to be part of because they remember the performance from three or four years ago. I highly recommend the drumming program of Fubuki Daiko as one of the best programs in the Artists in the Schools program.

—Barb Grexton, retired teacher, Grandview, MB

Hiroshi and Naomi are masters of their art but they are also masters of teaching. They demonstrate joy in their drumming which the students pick up on quickly. They set the stage for success. They direct and redirect the students with positivity and patience. Working with Fubuki Daiko exposes students to a cultural activity they otherwise would not have. From the very beginning, students are taught to respect the learning space, demonstrate humility and self-discipline.

—Kerri Gaminek, teacher, Oak Bluff School

I liked drumming because it gets rid of our bad thoughts and it shows me to listen with manners. I didn't feel silly anymore closing my eyes at the end. I felt great, awesome, and calm. I learned to bow to the drums to show respect and it takes our bad thoughts away. Thank you!

—Student from Jack River School, Norway House, MB