There’s still a lot going on in my life, and I have a lot of thoughts jumbled up in my head.
First off, of course I did not manage to work in everyone I ought to have thanked in the process of mentioning people on stage or in the program at the 20th Anniversary concert.
Honestly, I also didn’t manage to thank everyone should have up in Vancouver for the Jodaiko concert.
I am debating working on a master list to put up on one of the web pages.Â I don’t actually have the time right now, but it’s nagging at me in the back of my head.
It has taken the efforts of a lot of people to get Sacramento Taiko Dan to 20 years, and this goes doubly so for me and what I have managed to accomplish.
Sure.Â I did a lot on my own and my own efforts made a difference.Â I am just still humbled by the fact that so many people have helped me along the way.Â The kindness and generosity of so many people has made such a profound difference.
As a founding member and as the leader of the group, the spotlight often gets put on me and what I have accomplished, but I know that I was able to accomplish things because I had guidance and help all along the way.
I am glad I could finally dedicate a concert to someone who was still alive.Â My grandmother has supported my career in so many ways.Â Most of the the trips I’ve made to Japan to study could not have been made without her help, and $20 in kozukai here and there plus meals at her place have been invaluable.
I’ve also gotten a lot of help from my Auntie Ets and her daughters (my cousins) Sharon & Diane (and their families), and from my Uncle Ben and Auntie Carol, and their son Scott…meaning hugely major significant ongoing support of me personally and also the group.
I should mention my Uncle Stephen in that regard, too.Â My Uncle Sat and his wife LeAnne and their daughter Tara and her husband Dave have also been contributing (with one of the most stunning and memorable contributions ever being Tara dancing Onikenbai for one of our anniversary shows).
David and Bonnie Smith helped to get me to the Odaiko competition the year I won…it boggles my mind how many people have made my career possible…and I haven’t even gotten into how Tanaka-Sensei, or PJ & Roy, Alan & Merle, Russel & Jeannie, or the KODO folks (especially Yoko, Yoshikazu, Chieko, Atsushi, Mitsue, & Masafumi), Den-san and the members of Ondekoza, especially Marco Lienhard…and Oguchi-Sensei & Tosha-Sensei & Kobayashi-Sensei & Kenny & Chizuko & Catherine Ochi & now the Shidara folks…ooh…and what about Chie Otsuka (?) and everyone else whose helped me while in Japan…OMG how could I leave out John and Terry Diefenbach (!?) or Mr. Tauchi & the Suigun Daiko folks (and Esther for letting me crash at her place when I went there to see what Suigun Daiko was all about).Â The Japan Arts staff…and then everyone in Okinawa especially the Arakaki & Tokuda families).
I can barely even begin to quantify the help I’ve gotten from Senmu and his wife and their children (especially Sumiyo!).
This is maybe as a little as 1/20 of the people that make hugely significant contributions and I didn’t include my siblings who make sure things are ok at home when I am on tour, or my neighbors, who keep an eye on things…and then Kristy who just helps to keep everything together and flow and Megan Chao Smith who has been such a huge part of things for over the past decade, and there’s Art Lee who produced 2 tours in Japan for the group & Monika an Peter who hosted and produced us in Germany, and there’s Hop in Moab & all the other members of Moab Taiko,Â and Karen & Rome In Tucson, & Eileen & Leslie, & Bonnie Soon & Noriko & & & Hiroko Ninomiya…Missy!?Â Millie!?Â JoJo Salami !?!?!?!
ok.Â I only have maybe 1/1000 of the people who help to make things happen in hugely significant ways….and do I send thank you cards?
Generally…no.Â It’s my worst character flaw…and the thing is I often buy them and write them out, but then I almost never get around to sending them…just like holiday cards.
Rather uncouth of me, actually.
Although, there’s so many people to thank, whole forests might be decimated if I sent everyone a card…but…yeah.Â I’m still a schmuck for not sending them.
Oh…and Megan Jane…thank you for helping to keep me sane this past year, and for your kindness and lovingÂ support throughout what may have been one of the most high-pressure, stressful years I’ve had to date.Â Thank you, Chris, for teaching me how to play Go, because it really was a lifelong desire kind of thing.
…and to the all the members of Sac Taiko, past and present…please know that I know that what we have accomplished we have accomplished together.
As to everyone who is as yet unmentioned…just please know you are often in my thoughts.Â Really.Â Seriously…in a borderline OCD way.Â I think about you all the time and acts of kindness great and small…so much so, I think my head might burst some times…and I am agonizing because I am coming up with name after name of all the people I want to express my appreciation to and this post is long enough and I’m cutting it off here.
I am a profoundly grateful human being with a lot to be thankful for.