One of the earliest collegiate Taiko drumming groups established on the East Coast, Gendo Taiko was constituted at Brown University in the Fall of 2004 by Raiki Machida (Brown ’07) and Joshua Goldner (Brown ’05). Initially dubbed Brown Taiko, Gendo’s musical styles were originally based on those of Wadaiko Gensou, a semi-professional Taiko group based in Miyagi, Japan, with whom Machida had trained extensively. In the summer of 2006, Goldner and Machida hosted Wadaiko Gensou’s founding members Takao Handa and Satoko Nambu at Brown University to expand the group’s repertoire, hone its members’ techniques, and build a new set of drums. As the group grew in membership and developed its own unique musical styles and arrangements, it adopted a formal audition process, developed a Group Independent Study Project (GISP) to explore the history of Taiko, and is now in the course of developing a well-structured program of study for its members.
Today, Gendo Taiko continues to build and acquire new drums, expand its repertoire by composing new songs, and collaborate with the greater Taiko community by hosting and participating in annual conferences and invitationals. Handa-san and Nambu-san gave the team the name Gendo (幻道) during their stay in 2006. Gendo, loosely translating to “path of free imagination,” represents the journeys taken by members in years past, and the experience of creative inspiration we hope to pass down to future members and audiences in the years to come.