Katada Kikusa

Japanese hayashi

A very important component of traditional Japanese music, hayashi, is the percussion and flute accompaniment to Japanese classical Kabuki music and dance.  In 1986, Mikko Haggot-Hensen was granted her professional name Katada Kikusa by Grand Master Katada Kisaku, a Japanese Living National Treasure, and now heads Katada-Kai of USA, the only percussion group providing Kabuki music in Los Angeles.

As a participant in ACTA's Traditional Arts Development Program in 2005, Katada hosted Grand Master Katada Kisaku to conduct a workshop for Katada-Kai of USA members and join them in a performance.

In 2002, Katada was a master artist in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program with apprentices Yuko Ohara, Yoshiyo Matsumoto, and Dean Okinaka.  Because an ensemble plays this music form, the learning process requires musicians working together; during the apprenticeship, the apprentices enhanced their skills on individual percussive instruments while learning more of the traditional repertoire which is always memorized and never noted on paper.


Click on any image to view slideshow.

Katada Kikusa (left) leading her students on the taiko, a double-headed drum that is played with sticks (Photo: ACTA)
Katada Kikusa taps out the patterns of the hayashi music using sticks that represent each of the instruments (Photo: ACTA)
The complexity of the music requires that the Hayashi ensemble practice weekly for two to three hours at a time (Photo: ACTA)
The ko-tsuzumi, an hour-glass drum, is played at the shoulder and is stuck by the hand (Photo: ACTA)

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