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Meet Taiko On circa 2015

Taiko On Members


 Taiko On!

The name is not only a team cry to strive and put all of one’s energy and focus into the drums, but the Japanese characters also resonate with the meaning “Sound of the Drum” The members of this dynamic troupe have drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds and come together to study and display their love of the Japanese drums to the wider Perth audience. 


Their Sensei, Simon Vanyai, originally studied Taiko in the mountains of Nagano, and since bringing his love of Wadaiko back to Australia has helped form four Taiko groups across Tasmania and WA.Many of the members of Taiko On are Japanese and have relished the opportunity to train in their traditional musical arts whilst living so far from their cultural home. Other members have a long-running love of percussion and are drawn to the elegant movements, powerful rhythms, and teamwork in the syncronised Wadaiko ensemble.

Simon Vanyai

Taiko On"s leader and a teacher.

Simon Vanyai, originally studied Taiko in the mountains of Nagano-ken, over 15 years ago and has passed on his passion for Taiko to thousands of Australians and supported the formation of 4 taiko groups across Tasmania and WA.

Fong Tan Xue Fen

Fong has more than 20 experience in eastern traditional drums, including Chinese, Japanese and Malay. Started as a lion dance drummer when Fong was 12, Fong fell in love with the energy exert through traditional drumming. He then continued to learn and play different forms of percussions, and became a drum instructor and judge for Malaysia’s National 24 Seasons Drums Competition.


As one of the founding members of Malaysia's renowned Hands Percussion, Fong has led and choreographed multiple traditional and contemporary percussion pieces, including performances for BMW and Miss Chinese Cosmos Pageant for Phoenix Television. 


He is now a Project Manager and Information Management Specialist working in the Resources industry.


Sanshi is a Japanese contemporary didgeridoo player living in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Sanshi started playing didgeridoo in 1997. 

He performs as a solo artist, collaboration artist, studio musician and in the trio "Breath" with Anne Norman (Japanese shakuhachi flute) and Reo Matsumoto (Beatbox). 

Naoko Yamada

Naoko is an artist who has been expressing art in many different ways all through her life. 

Her musical experience started with playing piano at the age of 5 years, at the age of 15 she took up percussion at her high school club and she became the leader of a successful percussion ensemble that managed achieve Silver prizes amongst the music ensemble contest in Sizuoka Japan.  Following that; she joined a few local orchestra teams as a percussionist.  She attended Taiko Tryout session and since then has been falling love with the sprit of Taiko!! 

To see her artwork visit NAOKO YAMADA.

Aya Kelly

Aya started playing drums in an amateur band when she was 14 years old and went on to play in the rock/punk/rockabilly/psychobilly/metal/grunge band in Japan, England and Australia. 

Her first experience of Taiko was as “Bon-odori Matsuri-Bayashi” player in the Perth Weekend Japanese School’s annual summer festival. She was introduced to Simon Vanyai who later formed the Taiko On group where Aya is one of the founding members.

She participates in local university volleyball league, social tennis, badminton, and is also a keen Kendo-ka.  She is an instructor of Tae Kwon Do and coaches children during the weekends.

Her love for sports and martial arts, together with the percussion experience, allow her to unleash her energy and share her enthusiasm.

Rhet Magaraggia

Rhet grew up in Perth and has enjoyed playing musical instruments such as the piano and flute throughout his life. This interest in music led him to experience Taiko for the first time and decide that he wanted to try it out. He has been playing Taiko for several years, initially taught by Helen Gouteff and Fong Tan Xue Fen. He was introduced to Simon and Taiko-On by his friend Mel. Despite being fairly new to percussion, he loves playing ensemble drums with a passion and getting into the spirit of Taiko! During the day, Rhet is a physicist at UWA working on gravitational sensors and enjoys learning how the world works.

Hideo Tohira

Hideo is the oldest member of Taiko-on. He moved from Osaka, Japan to Perth in 2007. Hideo has no previous experience in percussion but strings, and so he is better at managing a Taiko-on team than playing taiko. He is also a rope-work master in the band. His background is medicine and engineering. He is now working at a university as a researcher.

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