Osuwa Daiko Image Title Picture
Welcome | What is the Hiryu Project | About the piece | Videos | About Daihachi Oguchi

About "Hiryu Sandan Gaeshi"
"Hiryu Sandan Gaeshi" was composed by Grandmaster Daihachi Oguchi in March of 1972.

The piece was based off of one of the rhythms that came from Osuwa Shrine. It was a part of a specific type of Shinto theatrical entertainment also known as Kagura.
The purpose of this particular rhythm was a signal to call the gods from above so they could bring back the gods that were present during the ritual.

At the beginning of "Hiryu Sandan Gaeshi", there is a herald for the gods to come down. Then Oguchi Sensei himself would begin a prayer, followed by fue and taiko. Afterwards, the tempo speeds up, and the main part of the piece begins. The main part of the piece is meant to express the actions of the god of Osuwa Shrine, which is a dragon, circling overhead. The main rhythm is played three times.

Since the piece is based off of the Kagura ritual, the drummers insert the Norito (prayer) in between each cycle. The piece ends, with the arms spread out wide, the right hand pointing the bachi toward the heavens.

The piece originally did not end there, but there is an interesting story as to why it now ends this way.
When "Hiryu Sandan Gaeshi" was filmed on NHK TV, the end of the piece was actually cut off from the video. Due to difficulties in editing at the time, shows were shot on very tight schedules. Osuwa Daiko performed their piece, but the program time ran out just at the moment where the piece now ends. When watching the video afterwards, Oguchi Sensei liked the look of it, and decided to change the ending of the piece that way.

Hiryu Project contact