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Taiko Drumming Lesson


Taiko means "drum" in Japanese . Outside Japan, the word is often used to refer to any of the various Japanese drums and to the relatively recent art-form of ensemble taiko drumming. Taiko drums were first used in ancient Japan as part of the military as well as musical entertainment in castles and shrines. Modern Taiko developed in the 1950's and the concept of ensemble drumming became popular. The musicians based the rhythms of their performance on the simplistic arrangement of the shrine music that had been previously played.

Various groups and professional groups have developed since then but the most famous Taiko group are the Kodo drummers from Sado Island. In Japanese the word "Kodo" conveys two meanings: "heartbeat" the primal source of all rhythm and, read in a different way, the word can mean "children of the drum," a reflection of Kodo's desire to play their drums simply, with the heart of a child. Kodo's performance include pieces based on the traditional rhythms of regional Japan, pieces composed for Kodo by contemporary songwriters, and pieces written by Kodo members themselves.

Taiko Drumming Lesson

For those staying on Sado Island, you have the opportunity to visit the Kodo drumming centre and receive a lesson from a former member of the Kodo group. During the session you will have the chance to try the various kinds of drums and enjoy playing using the wide range of sticks. This is a fun session and a unique opportunity to try your hand at one of Japan?s most famous musical traditions. The session will last for an hour and needs to be booked in advance.

The Taiko Drumming Experience is offered all year round but as there are very few teachers certain days may not be available. If you are keen to include this on your trip please ask and we will enquire for you.

The Taiko Workshop sessions are held in the Kodo Village which is near to the town of Ogi in the south of Sado Island. It is recommended that you have car hire as the centre is not easily accessible by public transport.

Our Northern Highlights Self-Guided Adventure includes a two night stay on Sado Island with car hire.

A taiko drumming experience is also included as part of our A Northern Soul small group tour.

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Inside Japan Tours - Independent British Travel Awards 2011 - Best Tour Operator To East and Central Asia
The Guardian, The Observer - Travel Awards 2010 Winner - Best tour operator (small)
Inside Japan Tours - Silver at the British Travel Awards 2009