Yamato Drummers of Japan Celebrate the Heartbeat

February 25, 2016 Updated: February 26, 2016

TORONTO—Yamato, the renowned drumming group from Japan currently touring Eastern Canada, uses the continuous, pulsating rhythm of the human heartbeat as inspiration.

“We think that the loudest sound on the earth is the sound of the heartbeat,” says Masa Ogawa, artistic director of Yamato, The Drummers of Japan.

“The heartbeat is the most energetic thing in the world. We cannot do anything without it. Yamato wants to listen to that sound.”  

Established in 1993 by Ogawa, the Yamato Drummers have dedicated themselves to high-powered shows and have since toured in 53 countries, reaching over 6 million people.  

The group’s newest show is called “Bakuon~Legend of the Heartbeat,” described in their press release as “an intense journey of the spirituality of the human soul, and the endless beat that constantly propels us throughout our lives.”

Through their energetic and at times humorous performances, the group’s goal is to connect to the hearts of their audiences, Ogawa explains.  

“We can become one by the sound of the taiko drum,” says Ogawa, who believes in the power of the taiko to resonate with the soul.  “The audience will feel that they are not just an audience but also a drummer.”

The taiko is a traditional instrument of Japan, played at traditional celebrations and rituals.  Its body is made from a 400-year-old tree and its skin from cowhide, Ogawa explains.

“The sound of the taiko is big and powerful, deep and heavy,” he adds, noting that one should not listen with the ears, but rather feel it in the body.

“The sound of the taiko is the sound of the heartbeat. It is the reason why the taiko is so special for people.”

As part of its 2016 world tour, Yamato is performing in several Canadian cities, including at the Flato Markham Theatre in Ontario on Feb. 27. For full details, visit: www.yamatodrummers.com