Introduction to Edo Bayashi with Eien Hunter-Is

Instructor Profile

Eien Hunter-Ishikawa is a musician, educator, and composer specializing in taiko, shinobue, and percussion. Recognized for his musicianship and versatility, he integrates his background of jazz, Western percussion, and traditional Japanese music to create an original and inventive approach to his teaching and performance. Eien has collaborated with many pioneers of innovative music including the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, Kenny Endo, On Ensemble, John Kaizan Neptune, Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos, Colleen Lanki, TaikoArts Midwest, Naomi Sato, Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, Zenshin Daiko, Ho Etsu Taiko, Makoto Taiko, and Enso Daiko. After receiving early training from Saburo Mochizuki of the renowned Tokyo ensemble Sukeroku Daiko, Eien earned his Bachelor of Music Education at Central Michigan University and his Master of Music Performance at University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a passionate advocate of Edo Bayashi and Kotobuki Jishi (the traditional festival music and lion dance of Tokyo) and continues his in-depth study under Wakayama Shachu’s Kyosuke Suzuki, with kind support from Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten. Eien is an in-demand instructor and frequently presents workshops and lessons to various groups around the country. His website’s many articles, instructional videos, and online lessons are utilized by students worldwide. When not on the road, Eien makes beer, bread, natto, kimchi, miso, hot sauce, and other culinary pursuits at his home in Portland, Oregon. Recipes are featured on his blog, along with musician interviews and other eccentricities.


Find out more and follow Eien at:

Web Site:



Workshop Description

All classes will be recorded and distributed to registrants within 1-2 days of each session. Recordings will be available for access for one month after the last session.

This class is an introduction to Edo Bayashi, the traditional festival music of Tokyo. The Edo Bayashi ensemble uses two shimedaiko, one odaiko, one atarigane, and one shinobue. In this session, we will start with a focus on the shimedaiko part and then branch out to some of the simpler patterns of the odaiko and atarigane. The Wakayama Ryu Edo Bayashi repertoire consists of many pieces and you will learn sections of Yatai and Nageai (Mikoshi Bayashi) – two pieces that represent the festive feeling of this music. We will focus on the use of kuchishoga (vocal patterns) to learn the rhythms and to understand the interplay of the different parts. You will also learn about the history and context of Edo Bayashi in relation to Wakayama Shachu, Kyosuke Suzuki sensei, and Tokyo’s famous festival Sanja Matsuri. The workshop material is designed to be suitable for both beginners and for people with experience.


Experience required? No experience is necessary.

A Personal Message from Eien Hunter-Ishikawa

I am excited to share my knowledge of Edo Bayashi because it has provided so many wonderful moments and significant lessons over the many years that I have played this music. Being immersed in three days of Sanja Matsuri is unforgettable – the traditions, food, clothing, spectacular omikoshi, and of course the never-ending ohayashi music which resonate deep within our mind and body. I started learning Edo Bayashi as a child and am now more fascinated than ever as I continue to study under Kyosuke Suzuki sensei. Participating in a traditional art form has brought me invaluable lessons about culture, etiquette, and historical perspective. I have also found that practicing Edo Bayashi boosts our technical skills and our ability to play tightly in an ensemble. In this session, I hope to show why this music has continued to be so interesting and useful for a growing number of taiko players.


Class 1: Monday, November 30 – Edo Bayashi Instruments, Wakayama Shachu History, Yatai Shimedaiko

Class 2: Monday, December 7 – Yatai Shimedaiko, Odaiko, Atarigane

Class 3: Monday, December 14 – Nageai Shimedaiko, Odaiko

Class 4: Monday, December 21 – Nageai Shimedaiko, Odaiko, Atarigane, review


All classes are one hour in duration starting at:

5:00 PM PT Los Angeles
6:00 PM MT Denver
7:00 PM CT Chicago
8:00 PM ET Toronto/New York
1:00 AM London
2:00 AM Berlin
10:00 AM Tokyo (the next day)


What do I need?
  • Small drumsticks – ideally 32cm shime bachi or similar (buy online: Hinoki / Hou)
  • Hitting surface (drum pad, kaDON TimbreTaiko, pillow, etc)
  • Water
  • Pen and paper for note taking (optional)


Important Notes
  • Each live class is followed by an optional 30-minute community hangout and Q&A time
  • Can’t attend at the scheduled times? All classes will be recorded (instructor view only) and distributed to all registrants for one month access after the last class.