Wadaiko impresses with its powerful performance! Japan’s most popular instrument

Among various traditional Japanese musical instruments, by far the most popular one is Wadaiko, a Japanese drum. Recently, a Japanese drum group succeeded in overseas performances, winning a rave review.
Wadaiko is one of the percussion instruments and a general term for various drums in Japan, used in festival, religious ceremony held at a shrine and traditional performing arts.
A trunk is made of wood and a leather is used for covering the trunk, vibrating to make sounds.
A drum beaten with a drumstick is called “taiko” and a drum beaten by the hands is called “tsuzumi.” Japanese drums have such a long history that in the Jomon period, more than 3000 years ago, they were used as a tool for communication.

Japanese drums are categorized into three types.
When you hear a Japanese drum, you might call up an image of Nagado-daiko or Miya-daiko. The most famous type of taiko which can be see


Okedo-daiko is a drum that leathered metal hoops are attached to the tub body by rope for tuning. It’s lighter than Nagado-daiko, an elongated drum like a wine barrel, and used to play drum sets as it is available in a variety of sizes. Smaller Okedo-daiko are also played by hanging from the shoulder with a strap. Its portability makes the player move freely so that we can incorporate a dance into performances.


Moreover, there is a Tsukeshime-daiko, popularly used in traditional arts such as Noh, Kabuki and Min’yo (a Japanese traditional music). Though it appears similar to Okedo-daiko, Tsukeshime-daiko hit the high notes by having thicker heads to make clear sounds on a stage.


There are all sorts of Japanese drums and different types of drums are used by scenes.
Then, let’s watch the Wadaiko performance!

Photo by photo-D7100, acwork, 556km

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