What is Taiko Drumming?

Taiko is the Japanese word for "great drum".

This ancient musical artform originated centuries ago in Asia. The resounding beat of the massive drums, ranging from one foot to six feet in diameter, could be heard over great distances and historically was used as a means of communication.

Taiko could be used to signal distant villages, such as to warn of the approach of an advancing enemy or an impending disaster; or to signal troops on the battlefield. In shrines and temples throughout present-day Japan, taiko can still be heard, although today its purpose is more spiritual and celebratory, often occasioned by village festivals. Only since 1953 in Japan & about 1980 in North American has taiko ensemble, KUMI DAIKO, evolved, thanks to Oguchi, Daihachi, and Osuwa Daiko. The world paid attention to taiko at the Tokyo Olympics of 1964, and has embraced it ever since.

The following videos demonstrate the style, skill, and power of Taiko as interpreted by Esther Vandecar, and Fushicho Daiko, of Phoenix, Arizona.

Miyoshi Don Chan at the taiko Ten2009:


Silk Daiko - All Arizona Taiko Team, made up of Fushicho Daiko
and their student groups at Matsuri, A Festival of Japan, Phoenix, 2010:


Uzushio at Taiko Ten 2009, made up of Fushicho Daiko


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