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Home >> Blog >> Guest Blogger >> Running to the beat of a Japanese drum

Running to the beat of a Japanese drum

  • Ultra Marathon
  • Half Marathon

“@Tamashii your drumming was incredible! Nothing like coming round the corner to be greeted by your fantastic drumming! Sounded like we going to war... was just what I needed - THANKS! Absolutely BRILLIANT!”

If you have run the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon before, chances are that you would have run past a group beating massive drums along the route. ...

Introducing:  Tamashii Daiko

We are Tamashii Daiko, a group of enthusiastic and passionate drummers, practicing the Art of Japanese Drumming, also called “Taiko”.  Taiko is a martial art and originated in China, but has been practiced in Japan for over 2000 years.  A versatile artform, Taiko is performed in temples, at festivities and has been present in ancient war times.

My name is Ursula Coenen, the founder and leader of the first, and so far only, Japanese Drumming Group in South Africa. 

Our group has drummed for participants in the World's Most Beauful Marathon for the past three years, using a special rhythm we have created to enhance the vibe of this great event.

“Your drumming was like a heartbeat - so inspiring. Thank you so much...”

Just as a runner has his/her own pace and listen to their own heartbeat to keep that pace, Taiko's drum beat resembles a very powerful heartbeat. 

When we stand next to the road, waiting for the first runners to pass, we can feel the anticipation and the adrenalin pumping through our veins.  We start drumming the moment we see the first runners, and continue to do so for about six hours.

We call this our “Taikothon” - a Taiko marathon - and the runners' reactions show that they love every second of it. It is as if the Taiko beat enhances their own beat and give them courage to continue and tackle the last 8km with a renewed vigor.  When they hear us, they smile, hold their thumbs up, clap their hands, shouting a “Thank you!” or “Awesome!”.

Some of them even stop and take our Bachi (Drumsticks) out of our hands to start drumming themselves. When you see and feel the reaction you know it is just right to stand there for 6 hours, going home with stiff and sore muscles and feeling like you had just completed a marathon yourself. 

The day after the 2013 OMTOM, one of our drummers flew to Johannesburg.  She couldn’t lift her arms to put her hand luggage away, so a fellow passenger helped her and asked if she had participated in the Two Oceans Marathon.  "No," she replied.  "But I drummed for the runners for six hours!"  Everyone seated around her applauded! 

“You guys were awesome... made my 'Oceans special...”

That is precicely what we will do again on 19 April 2014:  Making YOUR Two Oceans Marathon experience special and drumming you to the finish line...


If you want to know more about this unique artform, please contact me at tamashii@email.de, visit www.Tamashii.co.za or like us on Face book https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamashii-Daiko/151736794863334?ref=hl.

We can be booked for all kinds of private, corporate or commercial events, OR you could join us for workshops and classes at Hathersage Farm, 106 Gordon Road. Somerset West.


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