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Rieko Kotoku is based in Sacramento, California. She was born and raised in Tottori, Japan. She studied different styles of Taiko (Japanese drum) for 10 years under the mentorship of Tiffany Tamaribuchi, the founder of Sacramento Taiko Dan, and an internationally recognized taiko master.

Rieko’s experiences at the Taiko Dan helped her reconnect to the heart of Japanese spirit and brought her inner strength, patience, ability to focus and respect for herself and others.


While she studied Taiko, Rieko met Akira Katogi, General Corporation Wariki, a master of traditional Japanese performing arts which includes Shinto Kagura sacred dance and Taiko. She was touched by his artistry and the messages he sends to the world.  His work also awakened her soul mission and passion for kagura, Buddhist dance and drumming.


Rieko also has been studying Hachijo Taiko and Japanese folk dancing with Chieko Kojima, an original member of Kodo. Rieko is inspired by Chieko’s art form which expresses the beautiful spirit of Japan, brings Zen and sacred energy to the stage and delivers the experience of power and grace of Japanese performing arts.


Rieko has studied Japanese classical dance (Nihon Buyo) by Shiho Tendo, who is the 3rd generation heir to the “Tendou Ryu” school. Rieko’s heart was fulfilled by Shiho’s expressions and beautiful movements that flowed naturally from her. This led her Rieko to explore the creation of movements from her heart and soul and expressing her emotions through dance.

Rieko has been studying traditional Japanese folk dance from the Tsugaru region of Aomori Prefecture by Yoshijun Ishikawa, who is a master of Tsugaru dance. The dance is characterized by its energetic and lively body movements and graceful hand movement. The Dance incorporates movements inspired by animals, plants, and nature.


With the guidance from these masters, her spiritual journey began and she learned the importance of getting in touch with her life purpose in performing arts and connecting to the roots of her own culture and spirituality.


She also is a member of KOHAKU, a unit that performs Japanese traditional and contemporary performing arts.


Rieko’s passion and mastery in sharing these art forms will allow the audience to experience not only an exciting performance but also the connection to the beauty of Japanese culture.  She hopes that each performance will be a very heartfelt and memorable one for you.

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