Wanting to spread the wide array of physical, mental, and social benefits of taiko to her local community, Diana Wu founded Naruwan Taiko and in early 2008, with the help of her collegiate taiko friends, she held a community workshop for San Diego with some taped tires and a once forgotten old lion dance drum with a growing hole in the center. Since that day, Naruwan has grown to over thirty performance members, met numerous community class attendees over the years, and thankfully, has been blessed with drums that don’t have holes in the center.
The word “Naruwan” (那魯灣)) is a Taiwanese Ami greeting, meaning “welcome, for we are all in the same family” and conveys the group’s belief that even though taiko is traditionally Japanese, it is an art form that has the ability to bring a diverse community together. Thus, the name embodies the group’s mission to provide everyone the opportunity to discover taiko and make joyous sound with each other, regardless of background, age, and experience. This year, Naruwan Taiko plans to build a full-fledged taiko center in San Diego where new interested students can come learn taiko, and taiko players from all over the world can come to share their taiko knowledge, and hopefully do it while enjoying some carne asada fries and California burritos.