Katari Taiko operates as a collective. Our goal is to develop a form of Asian Canadian culture that incorporates the following elements:
We wish to achieve technical excellence as a group within a collective spirit. A basic assumption is that the strengthening of each individual member will result in the strengthening of the group as a whole. Thus, the responsibility of coordinating practices and group activities is rotated among the members. Each member is expected to be able to act as spokesperson for the group and to provide criticism and encouragement for the other members. Rules are kept to a minimum and established only as the need arises.
As the first taiko group to form in Canada, we hope to inspire other Asian Canadians to explore their community and culture. In keeping with this desire, we have given workshops to groups in Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Seattle, Victoria, and Kamloops. We also give regular open workshops in Vancouver to enable the general public to get a feeling for taiko and to serve as cultural exchange between Canadians of diverse ethnic backgrounds.
Katari Taiko is but one of the elements in the revival and current development of the Japanese Canadian community and culture. Members of Katari Taiko sit on the boards of various community associations, were active in the redress movement, and work as coordinators and volunteers at the Powell Street Festival, Vancouver’s annual Japanese Canadian celebration. Other members have been involved in historical and cultural publications as writers, editors, and researchers. As well, we feel a commitment to the broader community and have given our support as performers to women’s groups, the peace movement, environmental groups, and other local issues, such as native land claims.