EWP and TaikoProject Present ‘Road to Kumano’


Chieko Kojima in “Road to Kumano.” (Photo by Maiko Miyagawa)

Chieko Kojima in “Road to Kumano.” (Photo by Maiko Miyagawa)


East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, continues its 51st Anniversary Season Radiant with the world premiere of “Road to Kumano.”

Chieko Kojima, the lead female performer for the world-renowned taiko group Kodo, joins the Taikoproject ensemble at East West Players in this unique dance theatre piece based on the classic Buddhist tale of Dojoji.

“Taiko has always been a part of traditional Japanese theater traditions such as noh and kabuki, but usually only providing musical support to actors or dancers onstage,” says Bryan Yamami, Taikoproject managing director. “In ‘Road to Kumano,’ we are placing taiko front and center with the classic tale of ‘Dojoji’ as the narrative framework for the show. This show will truly be unlike anything we have done before in our 16-year history.

“We are so thrilled to continue our 51st anniversary and special events series with Taikoproject as they debut this hybrid theatrical/dance piece,” said EWP Artistic Director Snehal Desai. “I remember seeing Taikoproject for the first time on the Oscars and was thrilled by their grace and power. We are honored as they embark on this new project inspired by the ‘Dojoji’ story