Wednesday 15 May 2024

Taiko Come ‘N’ Try - April 2024

On Sunday 14th April members of the Frankston Taiko Drumming group held a Come ‘N’ Try Taiko event at Ballam Park on Cranbourne Road, Frankston. The group was formed in early 2023 and had a community workshop to construct 16 gomi daiko (rubbish drums!) using 75L plastic rubbish bins, heavy-duty packaging tape, plus 16 sets of bachi (drum sticks). From June 2023 members of the taiko group have been meeting once a month for a 90-minute lesson with Toshi Sakamoto from Wadaiko Rindo, a taiko drumming group who have performed at Richmond FC home games and many Japanese Festivals – including our own held in Frankston over many years. The group also meets once a month for an additional 60-minute practice session.


The aim of the Come ‘N’ Try event was to promote our association and taiko group, plus allow members of the Frankston community to try Japanese drumming. It was great to see so many attendees prepared to have a go and learn the basics of taiko. All 16 drums were being used and even 2 participants were playing on some of the drums. We also held a second session as more people arrived to have their turn.

We set up our drums near the eastern playground and barbeques with an information table, our FSFA banners on display and members dressed in our colourful Susono happi coats. After a brief warm-up members of the group played the Matsuri Daiko (Festival Drum) piece we have been learning during our lessons and practice sessions. The performance attracted a sizable crowd so we decided to not play the second planned piece and invited members of the audience to join us and give taiko drumming a try!



Led by Vice-Chairperson Simon, participants were shown the bachi grip and stance before commencing a brief warm-up. This was followed by some basic drumming patterns from the beginnings of both the Matsuri Daiko and Matsuri Taiko pieces - the Matsuri Taiko was performed on stage by the Frankston Delegation at the Australian Fair in Susono last October. Participants included toddlers, children, teenagers, mums and dads as well as a few older folks with everyone playing with great enthusiasm, enjoyment and effort!


We also distributed our FSFA promotional flyer and taiko notice and added over a dozen names to our taiko contact list. Everyone agreed that it was a very successful event with the participants enjoying their taiko experience and having lots of fun. 


Saturday 2 December 2023

Japanese Garden Working Bee - December 2023

WOW! What a fantastic turnout for our latest Japanese Garden working bee held on Sunday 3rd December. The planned tasks were deadheading the many shrubs and bushes, raking leaves and weeding, and finally mulching to prepare the garden for the warmer summer months.

Members of the FSFA committee were joined by some of our Frankston Taiko Drumming group and Frankston City Mayor Nathan Conroy. Thank you so much to those who attended and worked so enthusiastically to complete all the required tasks, and those who sent their apologies.

After several days of rain (very welcome as the garden's watering system has been out of action for a number of weeks) the weather was perfect for a morning in the garden. Participants started by removing the numerous dead flowers from the rhododendrons, camellias and many azaleas bushes as well as weeding as required. There were also a number of bamboo shoots that required cutting and a carefully applied dose of Roundup!

There were plenty of fallen leaves to rake up and collect throughout the garden - bamboo, camellia, rhododendron, maple, azalea and others.

Frankston High School had kindly supplied and delivered 15 bags of black mulch which were laid out on the stones ready to be applied. Morning tea arrived (thanks Vic and Marilyn!) and was greatly appreciated before the final clean up and mulching was completed. Despite going a little over the anticipated time, everyone was happy to see all the tasks completed before we had a group photo taken in the garden.

We then finished the morning with a shortened taiko drumming practice session in a classroom adjacent to the Japanese Garden. A great way to finish a successful morning's work.

Thank you again to all those who gave up their Sunday morning to attend our working bee - it's been many years since we've had such a great number of participants!

Monday 20 November 2023

Susono City Gift Presented to Mayor Nathan Conroy

FSFA Vice-Chairperson Simon Hast met with Frankston Mayor Nathan Conroy on Tuesday morning to present him with the gift from Susono City accepted at the Australian Fair during the Frankston Delegation visit in October.

The gift of shochu is presented in a ceramic replica of Mount Fuji with each of the 4 seasons represented by a different colour - this is the autumn version.

Another feature noted is the crater on the southeastern side of Fuji-san, which can be seen from our sister city of Susono. This was formed during the Hoei eruption in 1707 - the last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji!