Taiko (太鼓) means "drum" in Japanese, but that word is generally used outside of this country to designate various forms of Japanese drums. The Nippons prefer the more specific "wadaiko" (和太鼓literally "Japanese drum").

The wadaiko is associated with the long history of Japan.

There are already signs in the sixth century burial mound in (Kofun) around the summit and which haniwa some sort of anthropomorphic figurines clay, represented a drum in his hand.

At that time, several musical instruments are introduced in Japan during exchanges with other countries in East Asia. Between the fifth and the seventh century, musicians from the Korean peninsula go to Japan to practice their art.

In 752, at the opening ceremony of the eyes of the statue of Buddha of Todaiji Temple in Nara, many musicians, from various Asian countries come together to perform a concert of celebration.
With the development of the Middle Ages Noh and Kabuki in the Edo period (1603 - 1868), the taiko has seen its use grow and enrich its control since accompanied the performances.

The taiko was also developed under the patronage of the great Buddhist temples in the country. They differ by region of Japan that they accompany the ceremonies and other events popular.

Recently, the wadaiko is back in fashion, thanks to the many traditional festivals. Many groups have been founded and combine different drums. They occur both in Japan and abroad. One of the most famous in Japan today, Kodo (鼓童), is originally from the island of Sado, where the practice is equated to one lane, as a martial art.

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