Isshin Daiko was formed in 1996 to reach out to the community through their music/drumming. As noted on their website isshindaiko.ca. Isshin translates as “one heart”, a reflection of how the group plays as a unit. It is also a reference to the idea that the drum is the most basic of instruments – music which echoes our own heartbeat.
The group was formed by Reverend Grant of the Toronto Buddhist Church (1996) and Kiyoshi Nagata of Nagata Shachu as a means to reach out to the larger Toronto community through music. Its members are both church and non-church people of all walks of life. As a group, Isshin Daiko has studied taiko with Yoshikazu Fujimoto and Eiichi Saito of Kodo and Leonard Eto, former music director of Kodo.
Isshin Daiko play traditional Japanese instruments including taiko (drum), fue (bamboo flutes), kane (small gongs), chappa (cymbals) and other percussion instruments. They practice at the Toronto Buddhist Church.
Both groups share Japanese culture with the community as they represent Toronto Buddhist Church at different events throughout the year. One annual performance for both groups is the Obon celebration at the Japanese Cultural Center (JCCC).