News Release:


Los Angeles residents will be given the rare opportunity to enjoy a live performance by one of Japan’s Living National Treasures, Grand Master Hayashi percussionist, Katada Kisaku.

Hosted by the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center and Katada-Kai of USA, a Hayashi percussion group founded with the help of Master Katada Kisaku in 1982, the event “The New Year Kabuki Music & Dance Performance” will be held Sunday, January 5th at 3:00 p.m., at the Aratani / Japan American Theatre in Little Tokyo.

“Katada Kisaku and Katada Shinjuro”

The program will run 2 hours, and will feature 2 traditional dance performances and 4 musical numbers.One of the music pieces will feature an interesting comedic solo by Master Katada Kisaku on a variety of instruments, including the Tsuzumi, a small hand held drum with more than a 500 year history in classical Japanese performing arts.

In addition to Master Katada Kisaku, nine top ranked Nagauta (Kabuki music) musicians will travel from Japan to participate in the event. They will be joined on stage by Madame Katada Kikusa, the Los Angeles based protégée of Master Katada Kisaku, and members of Katada-Kai of USA.

The dance portions of the program will feature the talents of local masters such as Madame Bando Mitsuhiro, Bando Hidesomi and Madame Wakana Hanayagi, former member of the Azuma Kabuki troupe.

Kabuki, and it’s music, is a very recognizable icon of traditional Japanese culture to most Americans. Yet, few westerners have ever been exposed to an actual performance. This event provides an opportunity to sample the dance and music of Kabuki, right here in downtown Los Angeles, as performed by some of the most respected and accomplished artisans at the very pinnacle of the craft.

This program is made possible through the generous efforts of the Japanese Traditional Performing Arts Organization, the California Arts Council, Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the support of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California. Tickets for this very special event are available by calling, or stopping by, the box office of the Japan America Theatre, (213) 680-3700. Prices are $25 each, or $22 with JACC membership discounts. For more information, please contact Katada Kikusa at (310) 378-3550, or visit the web site of the Japanese Traditional Performing Arts Organization (JTPAO) at

To hear Grand Master Katada Kisaku play, please visit

Additional News Release Material for Katada Kai 20th Anniversary Concert

By Mikko Henson

This concert is a part of Oshogatsu (New Year) program co-presented by the Japanese American Cultural Community Center and Katada-Kai of USA which will celebrate 20 years of Japan’s master percussionist Katada Kisaku’s contribution to the Los Angeles Japanese traditional performing arts

Master percussionist Katada Kisaku who popularized Japanese percussion outside of Japan, is no stranger to Los Angeles. Taking part in UCLA’s Asian Performing Arts Summer Institute in 1981, he taught an intensive course on Hayashi (Kabuki style percussion). Hayashi is essential to Kabuki music, dancing and acting. It is the heart and soul of Kabuki music. Upon learning there was no one to provide Hayashi in California he helped establish Katada-Kai of USA in Los Angeles in 1982. During the past twenty years he has been dedicated to nurturing the group and making periodic appearances in Los Angeles stages.

This new year’s program will open with an auspicious nagauta classic composition “Ayatsuri Sambaso”. Next is “Goro Tokimune” which has a long standing tradition of performance in New Year programs. Then following: “Musume Dojyoji,” one of the most favorite nagauta pieces; as well as traditional dance numbers “Yoshiwara Suzume”, “Kimigayo Shouchikubai”. There is also be a special feature: an entertaining piece called “Mukashibanashi Tanuki” which depicts a raccoon-like animal called Tanuki, which requires special skill on shamisen and percussion, and for that reason is rarely played even in Japan. This number’s various percussion instruments usually are played by 4 percussionists off stage but will be performed on stage by Master Katada Kisaku alone which make this number his signature piece.

Six nagauta (shamisen and singing) musicians coming from Japan are a top rated professional women’s group led by singer Kineya Katsura and on shamisen Kineya Katsuyukie. Master Katada Kisaku is bringing his son Katada Shinjyuro and fue player Fukuhara Tetsuhiko. They will be joined by Madame Katada Kikusa, leader of Katada-Kai of USA and the Los Angeles based Protégée of Master Katada Kisaku; and versatile well known local musician Masakazu Yoshizawa member of Katada-Kai of USA. The dance portion of the program will feature the talent of local masters such as Madame Bando Mitsuhiro and Bando Hidesomi in “Yoshiwara Suzume”, and Madame Hanayagi Wakana and her students Hanayagi Wakayaoi, Hanayagi Wakanana, Hanayagi Wakaseira in “Kimigayo Shouchikubai”.

For more information on this event, or to learn more about the JTPAO, please e-mail us at