Before taking classes with Portland Taiko, I always took taiko for granted. I was definitely a person who always thought taiko was just a supporting role for all the Nikkei festivals and was never the main attractions at events. When I moved up to Portland from Los Angeles in 2014, I realized I had to make an effort to connect to my roots so I signed up for Portland Taiko classes in 2015. I was immediately hooked from my first class and it definitely redefined my thoughts about taiko. Looking back at my first classes with Portland Taiko, I was very lucky that my cohort consisted only four people…including the instructor ( Paul! ). I say “lucky” because all three of were able to get SO MUCH attention from the instructor and really work on our basics; which of course helped me in the long run. I play taiko today to keep me connected to my roots and to keep challenging my body and mind.