Japanese percussion instruments

Taiko (太鼓たいこ) means simply "drum" in Japanese. Outside Japan, the word is used to refer to any of the different kinds of Japanese drums (和太鼓, wadaiko, "Japanese drum" in Japanese) and to the more or less new art of taiko drumming bands (sometimes better called, "kumi-daiko", 組太鼓). The taiko drum originated in the country of Japan. This drum was created by Daihachi Oguchi in 1951. The taiko drum makes a very loud, deep sound.

A kumi-daiko group in Aichi, Japan
Percussion instrument
Other nameswadaiko, taiko drum
Classification Percussion
Hornbostel–Sachs classification212.2
(Instruments in which the membrane is struck directly, which have tubular bodies.)
Inventor(s)Unknown, origin possibly from India, China, or Korea.[1]
Developed5th-7th century CE[1]

In a traditional Japanese village the odaiko (big drum) defined the extent of the village land. In modern Japan, wadaiko has become more of a performance art, seen only during festivals or in concert. The most famous Wadaiko performance group are 'Kodo' (meaning heart-beat). They are not only the worlds most respected Japanese drumming group, they also maintain many traditional art forms. They group lives on the island 'Sado Higashima' and live together as a community in a traditional way. Many other cultures have adopted this style of drumming, from Germany and the United States to Australia.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bender, Shawn (2012). Taiko Boom: Japanese Drumming in Place and Motion. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-0520951433.

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