Little Taiko Boy

Little Taiko Boy combines Western holiday traditions, Shinto mythology and Japanese gay culture to advocate a very different way of wrapping gifts for a loved one.

The soundtrack is a safer-sex parody of the American Christmas carol “The Little Drummer Boy” interspersed with the slow rumble of a traditional Japanese taiko drum that sounds like a massive throbbing heart beat. Against this backdrop, several men meet in Tokyo’s bathhouses, love hotels and cruising spots for intimate encounters, watched over by a glamorous drag version of Amaterasu Omikami, the Shinto goddess of the Sun played by Japanese activist and artist MADAME BONJOUR JOHNJ. Like a queer Santa Claus, the goddess leaves each couple a condom in a bejeweled wrapper as a gift and blessing for the night.

While Little Taiko Boy’s setting is local to Tokyo, the contrasting elements woven together within the video emphasize how universal its issues are: the music brings together the modern and the traditional, the East and the West; the images depict the carnal and the spiritual, and ancient deities take up new roles in the modern world. And despite the urgency of its safer-sex message, the video not only embraces sensuality wholeheartedly, but does so with humor; after all, there is nothing “little” about either the Taiko drummer or the drum he beats.

Jackson made several trips to Japan in the course of developing Little Taiko Boy, working closely with AKIRA THE HUSTLER and Madame Bonjour JohnJ at Rainbow Ring’s COMMUNITY CENTER AKTA. The LGBT center and gallery takes an innovative, localized approach to community work that includes the condom Delivery Boys who have done outreach and condom distribution in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ni-Chome district since 2003. The ‘Goddess Edition’ condom cases that Amaterasu Omikami gifts in Little Taiko Boy are inspired by the artist designed series produced by Community Center AKTA. Jackson made the video with a grant from ART MATTERS, a foundation created to assist artists who make work intending to break ground aesthetically and socially.


Director Bryan Jackson
Director of Photography Quyen Tran
Music Dickie Greenleaf


Cesar Cipriano Little Taiko Boy
Eric Dean Cruising Man
Viet Hoang Bathing Man
Madame Bonjour JohnJ Amaterasu Omikami
Jeff Manabat Business Man
Kiyoshi Shishido Hustler
Derek Lui Drunk Businessman
Eric Hsu Lonely Man
Richard Minor Tengu Dancer #1
Pade Weng Tengu Dancer #2
Kiyoshi Shishido Tengu Dancer #3


Assistant to Director Asuka Murata
1st Assistant Camera Sam Riegel
Gaffer Hiromasa Tamai


Assistant Director JoAnn Hockersmith
Art Director Michael Hofeldt
Choreographer Roxanna Shih
Visual Effects Brian Baugh
1st Assistant Camera Valeria Kohakura
Gaffer Corrin Hodgson
Make-Up & Hair Hiroko Honda
Akiko Matsumoto
Art Department Harrison Lees
Grip Edward Patrick Alva
Matt Cheah
Joseph Chen
Katie Faulknor
Andrew Ng
Edric Silla
Press Chris Hall


Akira the Hustler
Bruce Yonemoto
Community Center Akta
Gai Gherardi
Joe Wilbur
Kosaku Kanechika
Midoriya Studio
Noritaka Minami
Quentin Lee
Rainbow Ring
Sanwa Cine Equipment Rental
UCI Digital Filmmaking
Yoichi Kunii