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Yorokai is a blend of the words yorokobi and ikigai. We took the beginning of yorokobi -Japanese for 'joy'- and the ending of ikigai, a Japanese concept translated as 'the reason for being'. As gai stems from kai, they glued together organically.
With our name we want to send the message that joy is Yorokai's reason for being, as you just can't stay uptight while playing taiko. We believe that sharing joy is an easy entrance for magical things to happen. The beauty of taiko is that this magic can be different for every person.
With Yorokai, we want to bring people closer together, one beat at a time. Even if sharing taiko makes the other person only a tiny tiny bit less different, we have gained.
That's enough to keep us drumming!
We are Annick Robberecht and Egon Guilliams. We met each other in the IT-business and we raised two -amazing- children.
We discovered taiko early 2014 and from the very beginning it enriched our lives in many different ways. As other passionate taiko players, we remember our first hit vividly and we love to tell you about our taiko journey!
Who are we?
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Early 2014, a friend invited me to join her for a workshop that had 'something to do with drumming'. As I liked djembé and I liked the prospect of spending more time with that friend, I happily joined. Unaware of what was going to happen, I hit my first stroke on a taiko. It hit me like lightning! I immediately felt I found something I was not aware I was looking for. I signed up for the Araumi Daiko Academy and the fire only kept growing. The more I learned about taiko, the more taiko resonated with my being. After the first year, I decided to emerge myself fully into taiko and cleared all my engagements.
I consider myself lucky to be taught and trained by Grete Moortgat as she is an extraordinary good taiko teacher and composer. Under her guidance and with Feniks Taiko -which is considered to be one of the best taiko groups in Europe- I enjoyed performing on prestigious stages like the International Taiko Concert Nights in Düsseldorf and Sfinks in Belgium.
My existential desire to bring people together and my untamable enthusiasm to share my passion for taiko sparkled Yorokai!
My taiko story
told by Egon
When Annick came back from her first taiko workshop, she was jumping up and down from enthusiasm. Although I was skeptical, she convinced me to join her. I really had no clue what I was getting myself into. I liked djembe, sure, but taiko?!? But what a great discovery it was! Unleashing all my power on the poor skin of the drum, loaded me with energy time and time again. The many years of classes, workshops and bootcamps at the Araumi Daiko Academy slowly improved my playing. Countless hours of practice turned me from a taiko 'animal' into a taiko performer.
It has been a privilege to perform on various prestigious stages as a member of Ikezuki and Feniks Taiko!
I truly believe taiko is a journey during which each individual matures his own taiko personality. The way you play, move, shout and interact with your environment all contribute to your continuously evolving taiko being.
With Yorokai, I hope to inspire others to join the growing taiko community. I want to share the joy and energy it has given me over and over again.
... that we, after 26 years of marriage, after raising 2 children and after 2 careers in the IT-business we launched our Yorokai project and embark for what might be the adventure of our lifetime!
On this website you can read how we want to bring our dreams, values and ambitions to life.
We invite you to have a look around and we hope you will like it!
Annick & Egon