Mas Kodani

Senshin Buddhist Temple minister and co-founder of Kinnara Taiko.

Fun at concentration camp A wrong ethnic assumption The performing arts not for Nisei Changing the taiko rhythm from Japanese to Afro-Cuban Friction between Sensei and Kinnara in defining taiko American influences on Japanese taiko Appreciating Kinnara Taiko's approach to taiko A Japanese American gardening dance Taiko is a reflection of where you live Playing traditional gagaku while creating an identity

Transcripts available in the following languages:

Rev. Masao Kodani is a Sansei minister of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and co-founder of Kinnara Taiko - the second taiko group established in the United States and the first Japanese American Buddhist group. Born in Glendale, California, Rev. Kodani was a young child when he and his family were incarcerated at Poston Relocation Center in Arizona during WWII. After his family's return toLos Angeles, they lived in a predominantly African American community near the neighborhood of Watts. Although they were Buddhist, his parents sent their children to Evergreen Baptist Church in East L.A. because they thought it would be easier for them to fit in. After graduating from Centennial High School, Reverend Kodani attended the University of California at Santa Barbara where he earned his degree in East Asian Studies. While at UC Santa Barbara, he became close with Reverend Art Takemoto of Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Through Rev. Takemoto’s influence, Kodani traveled to Japanto study Buddhism at Ryukoku University. After his studies were completed, he returned to the United States and was assigned to the Senshin Buddhist Temple in South Central Los Angeles. In 1969, he established Kinnara Taiko with members of the temple as a Japanese American Buddhist ensemble with the objective of enjoying the Buddha-Dharma (Horaku)through the experience. Their composition, "Ashura" has become one of the most learned adapted pieces in the American taiko repertory. (December 3, 2004)

camps incarceration internment World War II kyoto multi racial arts culture identity issei nisei sansei music taiko kinnara gender kodo ondekoza dance gardeners gagaku

Itadakimasu 2! Another Taste of Nikkei Culture

Read the Itadakimasu 2! stories >>

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation