Hiryu Project 2020

The Hiryu Project was created to bring together the world’s taiko groups to play the piece “Hiryu Sandan Gaeshi” which was created by one of the world’s greatest innovators in the world of taiko, Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi.


On June 27th, the day of Oguchi-sensei’s passing, we invite taiko groups around the world to perform this piece, whether in rehearsal or performance in any place. Not only in celebration of his life and his commitment to spreading taiko around the world, but also in the spirit of taiko, to communicate and share together through playing taiko.


As many of you may know the taiko piece, "Hiryu Sandan Gaeshi", written by Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi is one of the most well-known and commonly practiced and performed taiko pieces among every level of groups, particularly in North America.


Not only is it a piece which is semi-open-source (free to learn, rehearse and perform not-for-remuneration), but it is also the theme piece of the Japan Taiko Foundation and possibly the most well-known taiko piece around the world.


The Hiryu Project was created by two students of Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi who were moved, not only by their opportunity to learn from and perform with him but also from his approach to taiko as a true pioneer of the artform.


On June 27th, the day of Oguchi-sensei's passing, we invite taiko groups around the world to perform this piece, whether in rehearsal or performance in any place. Not only in celebration of his life and his commitment to spreading taiko around the world, but also in the spirit of taiko, to communicate and share together through playing taiko.


-From www.hiryu-project.com


During this time of COVID19 restrictions, taiko groups around the world have paused in-person classes, rehearsals, performances and workshops. Here in Calgary, Rocky Mountain Taiko Ensemble has continued to work in an online format, like many of our taiko colleagues. We would like to invite you to join us in celebrating with a virtual Hiryu Project! Please submit a video of yourself playing Hiryu Sandan Gaeshi at any (or all) of the tempos, and all of our videos will be collaborated into a single video to be submitted to the official Hiryu Project website.


If you have any questions, please contact pnieckar@mtroyal.ca for more information. Here are the instructions, and a video to help explain.


  • We want this project to be as INCLUSIVE as possible, to include as many taiko friends as possible.

  • Drum on whatever surface you have available! Not many people have their own taiko drums, so many people are using gomidaiko (practice drums made out of garbage cans, buckets, old tires), practice pads, pillows, chairs, stools, pots/pans etc.

  • Show us your patio, backyard, local park, or home practice area as a background for your video. Be creative! (of course, use appropriate physical distancing and obey all public health orders if you leave your home!).

  • please use the provided videos as click tracks. Listen to the track though headphones on one device and play along with it. You’ll need a second device to record. **if you are close to Calgary, I can come and take a physically-distant video with my device if you don’t have another device to record with!

  • please record in landscape (horizontal) format. cellphone Footage is perfect, or from a laptop camera

  • be sure to include the bachi click at the beginning, and try to click where I can see your bachi in the frame. It’s a visual and audio cue for me during editing.

  • Please record both Part A and Part B if you know both parts. If you only know one of them, just record what you know. If you cohabitate with someone who also plays taiko, play together and include both parts in a single video! If your group plays Hiryu with different movement/choreography, please do whatever you are used to doing!

  • Please email your videos by May 31, 2020 to pnieckar@mtroyal.ca, upload to Google Photos/Drive (send me the link), or share via DropBox.


There are many different videos that we are looking for. Please record any or all of them, but the more videos we have, the better!! Your whole video likely won’t be used, but pieces of it will be. So don’t worry if there’s a mistake (I just won’t use that part!). Check out the example video that I did as an excerpt. Make sure to keep those batteries charged :)


Please include the voice parts as they are in the click track video. Don’t worry if your pronunciation isny perfect! (the chant, norito, kiai etc)


Videos for practice and for use as click tracks:


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