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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Taiko in Brazil: Japanese Cultural Diaspora and Hybridization Through Percussion Music

  • Author(s): Sybert, Stephanie N
  • Advisor(s): D'Evelyn, Charlotte
  • et al.

This research aims to survey the development and current state of Japanese taiko music in Brazil, specifically São Paulo, as a musical genre and cultural practice. Its specific goal is to exhibit hybrid samba-taiko percussion performance as a practice which provides Japanese-Brazilians with a space to express, construct, and realize their hybrid sociocultural identities in spite of the restrictive racial and musical constructs of contemporary Brazilian society.

It provides the background to this conflict of cultural identity with a historical narrative of Japanese immigration to Brazil, and a discourse on the Brazilian cultural ideology of racial democracy. This project also serves to familiarize readers with taiko as a musical genre by outlining the historical development of kumidaiko musical practice in Japan and its development in Brazil, and to define samba-taiko’s hybrid musical characteristics through an analysis of contemporary music examples. Overall this research iterates samba-taiko’s role of emerging significance to Japanese-Brazilian culture.

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