This past weekend, Kazan had the pleasure of competing alongside 6 other taiko teams in the inaugural collegiate taiko battle hosted by UNIQLO, in honor of the grand opening of their Santa Monica store!
The competition was done tournament style, with a theme for each round- beta (flat drumming) for the first round, naname (slant drumming) for the second, and a final, freestyle round. The judges were Miss Santa Monica, singer Ryan Cabrera, and TAIKOPROJECT’s Maz Baba, which made for quite an interesting mix of opinions and perspectives.
Though simple in explanation, the actual competition kept us on our toes, as it was impossible to tell who would get the judges vote. Taiko powerhouses Jodaiko and Kyodo were both knocked out of the running fairly early, and there were surprise wins from Jishin and Asayake. In the end, we didn’t make it to the final round either, but performing alongside friends at such a unique venue was well worth the effort alone. The final battle came down to UCR’s Senryu Taiko and CSUN’s Jishin Taiko, with Senryu Taiko emerging as the collegiate taiko battle champion!
It was so much fun seeing familiar faces and bringing the sounds of taiko to Santa Monica, and we couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday. This battle was a definite summer highlight that we will cherish and remember, and if you’re interested to see how we played, visit our Facebook page to watch videos of the performance!