Sunday 14 July 2024

Come 'N' Try Taiko at Frankston Bunnings Store

On Sunday 14th July 2024 our Frankston Taiko Drumming group held a fantastic Come 'N' Try Taiko event at the Bunnings Frankston store! There were lots of enthusiastic participants willing to have a go and learn Japanese drumming during the event.

The workshop started with a performance by members of our drumming group using our recently acquired taiko drums in public for the first time! We played the piece taught to the group by teacher Toshi Sakamoto at our June taiko lesson a number of times to an appreciative audience.

We then invited members of the audience to join us and try Japanese taiko drumming. Instructions on how to hold the bachi (drumming sticks) and how to stand were given before a short warm-up. This was followed by the participants repeating a number of basic drumming patterns given by our Vice-Chairperson and instructor Simon.

Participants were then taught the performance piece our group had given at the beginning of the workshop, making sure to break down the piece into short and easy to follow segments. As each segment was learnt, we added more until we were playing the whole piece. We were even joined by a number of the Bunnings staff members who were keen to have a try during their break from work duties!

This part of the workshop concluded with a number of performances of the piece our participants had just learnt before we invited more people to have a turn. There were so many willing participants that we needed all our taiko drums, plus our gomi daiko (plastic rubbish bin practice drums), and our 5 mini taiko drums being played by the toddlers!

How cute were these participants?

Our shutterbug Peter said there were 24 people drumming at one stage in a large circle using the biggest and smallest taiko drums to play together! We had 40-50 people of all ages participating during the 2-hour workshop.

A huge thank you to our FSFA team who made the day possible - "teamwork makes the dream work!", the participants who came along and joined in during the workshop, and to Frankston Bunnings Activities Organiser Lyn Kellow for providing the great venue and her and Bunnings support for FSFA and our Frankston Taiko Drumming group. Lyn said she would love to have us back to run another workshop.

Sunday 2 June 2024

Box Hill Japan Festival - Sunday 19th May 2024

Members of our volunteer committee enjoyed a fantastic day promoting the Frankston Susono Friendship Association and Frankston's sister city relationship with Susono at the Box Hill Japan Festival on Sunday! The festival was bigger than ever with massive crowds attending - the entry queue and lines of people in front of the many food stalls seemed to stretch forever! There were big numbers inside the Main Hall all day and similar crowds on all levels and every display room. Despite the rainy weather, I know the organisers were thrilled with this year’s turnout and the wonderful performances and displays.

Opening Ceremony with sake barrel

The FSFA table was again located at the back of the Main Hall in the best possible location - just inside the entrance! We were able to offer our many visitors a FSFA promotional flyer, a range of travel and tourism booklets and pamphlets, and Mount Fuji postcards plus we had maps on display with Susono's location and key sites within Susono City and the surrounding area. The lollies, stickers and stamps were also very popular.

Grace, Peter, Ann-Maree and Bev

Many visitors wanted to know more about our sister city, our relationship and what activities we run during the year. Of course, we were promoting our Japanese Festivals, Japanese speech contest, Hanami Party and Frankston Taiko Drumming group. It was exciting to hear about many people's relationship with Susono - born there, visited there, have previously live within or near the city - were some of the stories we heard. We also spoke to many people who either wanted to travel to Japan, were planning their Japan holiday, or had already booked and were excited about going to Japan.

Simon, Grace and Peter

We were also very excited to watch each of the many taiko groups perform on stage during the day – from the school groups from Huntingdale, Warranwood and Caulfield Primary Schools to the adult groups which included our Frankston Taiko Drumming Group’s teacher Toshi Sakamoto’s Wadaiko Rindo. Each group gave an energetic and wonderfully inspiring performance!

Grace and Peter

It was another great team effort and a huge thanks to Bev, Vic, Ann-Maree, Peter, Grace, Therese, Julie, Nicole, Teja, Anita and Simon for helping to organise and attending the festival throughout the day.

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.