Where Have I Been? Making Taiko T-shirts, for one...

My apologies for the long hiatus. There were many factors inovloved in my extended absence from updating our taiko blog. It must have been tough for the one or two of you who check here every day to find out the latest taiko adventures of Brian and Mayumi. These days I'm trying to juggle a lot of online hats combine that with a three week trip back to Michigan and Chicago, returning to Japan to find that the airline lost my bag containing all of my taiko sticks and going back to work the next day even though my kids wake up at 2 in the morning from jet lag and I'm bound to drop a few of those balls. Anyhow, things have settled down a bit and hopefully I can now get back into a regular routine, which means you ought to see weekly updates here (more or less).

Let me share with you one of the specific reasons I was not able to update on a regular basis this past month. It is because I was working on designing a few taiko inspired t-shirts.

This is the one (above) which took most of the time. It centers on the Mitsudomoe, which is featured often on large taiko drums, and other taiko related items, with Raijin, the Japanese God of Thunder in the foreground. It was Mr. Raijin who took up most of the time. First the background of the original picture had to be removed, and then various areas of Mr. Raijin, himself had to be touched up. In the end, it took probably nearly ten to twelve hours of tedious work in Photoshop. (Many thanks to my understanding wife, who must have been frustrated as I sat in front of the computer.)

This design did not take nearly as much time to complete. It was inspired by a shirt I have seen worn sometimes by taiko players here, in Japan. Although, my design is a bit more fancy than what I have seen here. Anyhow, it again uses the mitsudomoe as a backdrop. The two kanji mean "drum" (鼓) and "soul" or "spirit" (魂). Therefore, the meaning is roughly something along the lines of "soul of the drum" or "drumming spirit". Those of us who play taiko, I think, can easily identify with this idea, seeing as how the taiko seems to somehow reach beyond our physical senses and reach into the depths of our spiritual and psychological beings.

These two taiko t-shirts are available at the site of good friend of Raion Taiko, Freddy Benstein, who has graciously agreed to host these designs on his cafepress store, EntropicTees. What's more, he has agreed to pass on 100% of the profits made from these designs to us in order to support our efforts to bring taiko drumming to Michigan.

I hope this isn't too much like a sales pitch. Sorry if it feels like that. I'll soon be back with new video, possibly some audio and more about the Exstasia concert back in July. Until then, keep drumming.


edie bluhm goik said...

i like the t-shirts!
the kanji one is my favourite... when i get a paycheck here this friday i am definitely going to get two t-shirts.

i think an organic one for the drumming spirit one, and a red shirt for the mr.raijin one.


Raion Taiko said...

Thanks Edie, I'm glad you like the designs. That carries some weight, comming from an artist! btw, sooner or later I will get around to adding mr. raijin t-shirts with a red and also a dark green mitsudomoe, if you think you might like those better.