Taiko – the Japanese drum

Drums have been in existence in mankind for a long time. I guess when the Neanderthals needed entertainment – the drum was invented right besides the spear and fire. Almost every culture / nation has a drumming history. The American Indian had drums used for celebration and war, the British and American had drums for their marching armies. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo or any other Military Tattoo uses drums. The Africans are credited to perhaps being the inventors of the drum. The Indian sub-continent used drums in many forms. So have our neighbors in China, Korea and Japan.

Which bring me to Taiko. The traditional Japanese drum – is an amazing musical instrument. Taiko when literally translated mean ‘drum’ in Japanese. The art of Taiko drumming is called “kumi-daiko”.


Taiko drumming is big – very big. Not only in economics and entertainment factor, but the drums themselves also vary in sizes.



One of the best known groups in the world that does kumi-daiko is Kodo! (Official SiteWiki). These guys are fantastic.

Here are some YouTube Taiko Video drumming

One of the most famous kumi-daiko was done by Kodo and made famous by the Buddha Bar collection (Volume 3). The song Strobe’s Nanafushi (Satori Mix) by Kodo became an instant hit worldwide.





In 2003 – a long time running play made it into a movie called “Zatoichi” (IMDBWiki) – towards the very end, there is an amazing dance sequence by The STRiPES that incorporates Taiko drumming with some excellent footwork. You can watch it here below.

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