Second Taiko Showcase Encompasses “Kiseki” Message

Logan Gilbert, News Editor

Whenever you hear a loud banging noise around campus or see students hitting chairs and tires with sticks, it is a pretty safe bet that the noise is coming from the Hidaka Taiko club, a Japanese drum and culture group on campus. This past weekend, the club had its second showcase event where members were able to show off what they had been practicing and introduce people to the art form.

The message behind the show was “Kiseki,” meaning “the path we’ve taken; a miracle.” This message explored what it meant to be a Taiko group at the school as the club added 20 new members this year. The team has been putting together the show since last year, and have been working tirelessly with four days of practice a week and multiple performances at events to prepare.

Misato Muraoka, a senior international business and business analytics double major, is vice president of the club. Muraoka talked about how the club came up with the idea for the theme and how it relates to the group’s experience this year.

“We found Kiseki for its original meaning of the path we’ve taken, but we [also] wanted to use it for its double meaning,” Muraoka said. “It also means miracle, as a way of saying thank you to those that have helped get here and for sharing this miracle that we have with us, as a club that is just two years old, to have as big of a showcase as we had.”


Misato Muraoka, an outgoing senior and vice-president of Hidaka Taiko, plays one of her last shows with Hidaka, as she moves on to performing with the professional Seattle group, Inochi Taiko.

The performance itself was centered around showcasing the group and included multiple original compositions that allowed members to express their creativity and unique musical stylings. The first song of the show included a piece called Subete, which means “everything” in Japanese, and was written collaboratively by everyone in the group. It was an explosive way to start the show, with all 30 members of the club performing across the whole stage and spilling over to the sides.

The performance not only acted as a way for the club to celebrate where they have come in the short year and a half that they have existed on campus, but for them to honor the students that are graduating this year and all they have done for the club. The three graduating seniors are Tamai Hiyane, Tony Salatino, and Muraoka. They were able to write a song and put on a special performance as a present to the group.

The show also featured performances by Taiko Kai, the University of Washington Taiko performance group, and Inochi Taiko, a Seattlebased group that performs and helps mentor the Seattle University club. The performances were a chance for the audience to see the differences in style between the groups. Some of the songs included portions where the three Taiko teams would mix in members for different songs. One standout moment of the show was when Inochi Taiko invited Muraoka to be an official member of their performance group along with Seattle U student and current Hidaka Taiko President, Elias Chanteloup.

Trenton Johnson, a first-year criminal justice major, attended the show and reflected one what made the event exciting compared to other cultural showcases.

“It was very different compared to other cultural shows that I’ve been to. The choreography and the music were engaging but what was really different was the audience participation,” Johnson said. “This engagement was what really made the event special.

The final song of the performance was “Hidaka!” a colorful mix of heavily practiced drumming and what felt like a group of friends having fun. Club Founder Yukiyo Mitsuishi and Chanteloup wrote the song, which contained high energy and spirit as could be seen in the stage fight, joking mistakes, and dancing that made the performance much more than a purely auditory performance.

The show became very emotional as the team shared their gratitude to their graduating seniors and showed a video of the time that the group had spent together. This showed how close the group was and how they really thought of themselves as a close-knit group, a sentiment that is echoed by member Nicolas Pham, a second-year communications major.

“I think the biggest thing about this club is that we are all a family and we are all there to support each other.”


Hidaka Taiko shouts in unison to end one of their songs with a bang as part of their second annual Taiko showcase, Kiseki.

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