Nakama Daiko was established in 2014 under the direction of Tomomi Hongo and we strive to share the art of taiko to communities across Los Angeles. Some members of Nakama Daiko began playing taiko at El Marino Language School in Culver City with their taiko group, El Marino Rainbow Taiko created by Etsuo Hongo. Tomomi became the lead taiko instructor for El Marino Rainbow Taiko in 2007 so that her father could pursue his dreams of teaching taiko in South America. Tomomi continues teaching taiko to students from ages 6 to 14 at El Marino. In 2014, she established Nakama Daiko, a youth drumming ensemble with students who began their taiko journey at El Marino Rainbow Taiko. 

Artist Interview_ Lizzietrauss (1).jpg
Artist Interview_ Lizzietrauss (1).jpg


Tomomi Hongo began playing taiko at the age of eight at El Marino Language School in Culver City. Her father, Etsuo Hongo, is a renown taiko artist who established several taiko groups including Los Angeles Matsuri Taiko, San Fernando Mugen Taiko, Venice Koshin Taiko, and El Marino Rainbow Taiko. Her father and mother met through the taiko classes he taught, and Tomomi is fortunate to be exposed to taiko at a very young age. She watched her father put on various concerts with groups from Los Angeles as well as Japan.

Tomomi's father was her very first teacher. She joined El Marino Rainbow Taiko at the age of eight, then joined Venice Koshin Taiko in the early 2000's. In 2007, Tomomi ventured on her own and joined TAIKOPROJECT where she became a performing member as well as an instructor for both their youth and adult classes. Tomomi toured in the U.K., Mexico, and states across the U.S. with TAIKOPROJECT. She also became the lead taiko instructor for El Marino Rainbow Taiko in 2007 where she teaches taiko to students from ages 6 to 14. Tomomi also joined UC Irvine Jodaiko in 2010  and was involved in the collegiate taiko community for two years. In 2013, she traveled to Japan to study under Yuu Ishizuka and Taro Kobayashi where she was able to study the basics and fundamentals of taiko playing. Tomomi has also led naname or slant style drumming workshops at the World Taiko Gathering in 2014 as well as the North American Taiko Conference in 2019. Tomomi also currently teaches with Taiko Together, a program designed for parents and children to learn taiko together led by Yeeman Mui as well as a team of instructors: Akari Sunaga, Wendy Kubota Ito, and Lee Stone.


Tomomi currently works as an Early Childhood Educator in Pacific Palisades and has been working with children ranging from 2 and a half to 5 years of age. She has led summer taiko camps at Methodist Preschool with children from ages 3 to 5.Tomomi wishes to continue her father's taiko legacy as well as establishing herself as taiko artist. Her goal is to always share and spread the art form in a respectful manner.