Sansei activists Rev. Masao Kodani and George Abe founded Kinnara Taiko at Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles in 1969. Kinnara was the second taiko group founded in North America (after San Francisco Taiko Dojo). Kodani and Abe were driven by Sansei rather than Japanese sensibilities and pursued an egalitarian Buddhist aesthetic that emphasized group improvisation.
Collaborations with Great Leap
Kinnara Taiko has collaborated with Nobuko Miyamoto and Great Leap repeatedly, including the 1978 musical titled Women Hold Up Half the Sky (Nobuko Miyamoto, vocalist/choreographer; Benny Yee, musical director).