Updated Oct 20, 2014 (Pretend you didn't miss a thing! Go to our News & Perf page archive.)

The All Souls Procession weekend is only a few weeks away. In preparation for the Nov. 9 event, we've kicked into high gear with lantern-making and obon dance/chant workshops for the community. All are free, though we'll take donations for the Procession.

If you can't make the workshops, you can Learn the chant online. You only need to section A to join us on Nov. 9

Here are some details of what to expect from Odaiko Sonora on the evening of Nov. 9:

  • As always, our taiko cart will provide the Urn's heartbeat during the Procession. Behind the cart, our community obon dancers and chanters.


Odaiko Sonora members practice for the All Souls Procession finale

Odaiko Sonorans prepare for the All Souls Procession.
In the foreground, Earth Drummers learn their
and in the background, our industrious costume crew.

  • Lanterns will be carried by anyone who wishes along the route to the Finale site in this first desert-style toro nagashi.
  • The Finale Rite features many honored guests from the international taiko community, who will be performing from a five-layered, 50 foot tall ziggurat constructed from 13 cargo containers.
  • 20 Earth and Sky Drummers on $100,000 worth of taiko drums and percussion.
  • Guests include Tiffany Tamarabuchi, Shoji Kameda, Aki Takahashi, and Kyle Abbot and members of taiko groups from throughout California, Las Vegas, Moab, Vancouver B.C., and Minneapolis, and many former members of Odaiko Sonora who have moved away, but are returning for this special occasion.
  • The central feature of the Finale will be a chant, commissioned from Takahashi for the occasion. The ceremony will close out with the chant being done by all who wish to join in.

Again, the dance and chant and lantern-making are offered at free community workshops listed below. If you can't make the workshops, you can still Learn the chant online. Please join you voices with ours Nov. 9.

Upcoming Events

Date Location Event Time


Rhythm Industry
1013 S. Tyndall

All Ages Recreational Taiko (AART). The current session began Oct. 18. It's pretty easy to catch up, so you can still register online with the Paypal button below. See a list of weekly classes and rehearsals, all of which are open for observation.


1013 S. Tyndall All Souls Procession Obon Dance & Chant Workshop. Twice today! You can learn the dance and chant in one session, but come to others for practice, work on costumes and the Procession Drum Cart. Final session is 11/1 12:15–1:30pm & 4:30–5:45pm


  Lantern-making Happy Hour, location tbd. This is our last happy hour, but please join us for a special lantern-making session and traditional toro nagashi at Yume Japanese Gardens on Nov. 1! 5–7pm


1013 S. Tyndall All Souls Procession Obon Dance Workshop & Chant practice. You can learn the dance in this one final session! We'll practice the chant in the last part of the workshop 12:15–1pm


2130 N. Alvernon Yume Japanese Gardens. Lantern-making and toro nagashi. Workshop is $3, plus admission to the Gardens. Ceremoney at 6pm. Afterwards, you may take your lantern home or leave it with us to carry in the All-Souls Procession on Nov. 9. Register for the workshop and ceremony by emailing yume.gardens@gmail.org or call 520-332-2928. 4pm–6:45pm


25th ALL SOULS PROCESSION. For 10 years we've provided the heartbeat at the head of the Procession. Now we'll also be the music spirit group for the Finale! International guest taiko players, $100,000 of drums... and fire! Join us in this amazing community ritual commemorating and celebrating the lives of our ancestors and loved ones. Assemble at 6th Ave. underpass. Procession starts at 6pm


Oro Valley TUCSON MARATHON. Our annual taiko marathon in support of the runners. Roughly 5 hours of contiuous drumming from dawn to noon! 7am-1pm


2130 N. Alvernon Yume Japanese Gardens New Year Celebration time tbd


1013 S. Tyndall Southern AZ Japanese Cultural Coalition Mochitsuki time tbd
Odaiko Sonora is a 501(c)3 arts education agency supported in part by your tax dollars, granted through Arizona Commission on the Arts (with funding from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts) and the Tucson Pima Arts Council (with funding from the City of Tucson and Pima County). Partial funding also comes from individiuals and corporations through the Ralph L. Smith Foundation, Target, Toyota and Friends of Odaiko Sonora. Thank you for making us possible!

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