Oguchi is dead
TOKYO (AP) — Master Japanese drummer Daihachi Oguchi, who led the spread of the art of “taiko” drumming to the U.S. and throughout Japan, has died after being hit by a car, an official at his ensemble said. He was 84.
Oguchi was crossing the street when he was struck by the car Thursday. He was rushed to the hospital but died of excessive bleeding early Friday, said Yuken Yagasaki of Osuwa Daiko, the group in Nagano prefecture (state) in northern Japan that Oguchi had led.
Oguchi helped found top U.S. taiko groups, including San Francisco Taiko Dojo, which has performed in Hollywood movies and on international tours since its founding 40 years ago.
A former jazz musician, Oguchi was one of the first to elevate the traditional folk sounds of taiko to modern music played in concert halls, not just festivals and shrines.