e·mer·gent /əˈmərjənt/
adjective: in the process of coming into being; calling for prompt action

Ho Etsu’s new show, emergent, explores the elements that shape us as people and celebrates the eternal force that brings us together for collective change. By paying attention to the small and the particular, we create change that spreads much farther than ourselves.

emergent asks: Who moves you? What motivates you? When does a moment become an opportunity for meaningful choices, actions, or thoughts?

emergent answers: What you pay attention to grows. And love is a stronger lever than fear. Fear acts fast, but love acts long. Build the relationships you want to see in the world and those moments make ripples into society, inevitably, emergently.

We’ve created emergent as a unique experience involving taiko and fue elements. Original vocals and a lyrical theme drive the show’s narrative of social justice and collective change. Throughout the performance, we invite our audience into moments of collective experience, encouraging them to become active participants in shaping the evening. The most fundamental shared human experience is breathing, an act so basic it rarely draws our attention. In emergent, we return to collective breathing in order to inspire reflection and to create connections between the audience and the performers.

We present emergent in three acts in the theme captured by these lyrics.


We arrive as individuals. Each person holds their own histories, hurts, joys, and desires. We arrive as restless energy, yearning for a purpose.

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composed by: Jason Matsumoto

Vocal Theme

composed by: Anabel Hirano; lyrics: Tiana Pyer-Pereira

Yoko Uchi


Shime Song

composed by: Jason Matsumoto


composed by: Emily Harada & Yvonne Harada; lyrics: Emily Harada & Jamie Eyster

On the brink of discovery – chaos, uncertainty, transience. Existing neither here nor there, we are open and unformed, poised to move beyond the cusp into uncharted territory.

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composed by: Jason Matsumoto, Anabel Hirano & ensemble; lyrics: Tiana Pyer-Pereira

Spirit Song

composed by: Tiana Pyer-Pereira and Alexa Tang; lyrics: Tiana Pyer-Pereira


composed by: Jason Matsumoto & Donny Ha

A coming together of all forces – harmonious and dissonant. A synergistic tidal wave of power and purpose, a wholeness greater than the sum of its parts.

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Low Commotion

composed by: Jason Matsumoto


composed by: ensemble


composed by: Jason Matsumoto


composed by: Jason Matsumoto & Anabel Hirano


tour dates

January 25, 2020
Notre Dame University
7:00 pm



performing members

Jason Matsumoto, director
Oscar Chen
Emily Harada
Anabel Hirano
Dana Johnson
Susan Park
Tiana Pyer-Pereira
Alexa Tang
Ryan Toguri
Kelsey Volkmann
guest artist Wolf Young, Fort Wayne Taiko

ho etsu thanks

Sarah Ayako, production manager
Jamie Eyster, voice artist
Lydia Fu, emergent tour illustrator
Jim Hassler, recording artist
Wiett Sills, photographer
Jerry Matsumoto, web builder

the concept for this show was inspired by

adrienne maree brown, author of the book ‘Emergent Strategy’

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