Taiko Drumming History

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Taiko and ritualistic practices in Japan
Taiko drumming in Japanese culture is inextricably tied to several historical ritualistic practices. These range from establishing a working rhythm while performing labor to martial arts and military cadence. Often noted as one of Japan 's core reflections of traditional Japanese culture, Taiko has evolved from its traditional roots into a popular contemporary sport. This paper would explore the origins of Taiko drumming, its applications in various ritualistic practices, and how Taiko rhythms and movement have transmitted this information across generations.
Attention will be paid to a wide range of Taiko songs, ranging from popular contemporaries to sea shanties over a century old. Furthermore,
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A common sea shanty that remains performed by amateur university groups and professional Taiko masters alike is called Soran-Bushi. Soran-Bushi was historically sung by the fishermen of Hokkaido.(Hughes) In the case of Soran-Bushi, Taiko drums established the rhythm for lifting catch out of the sea via otamo, giant nets that could be up to 6 meters deep. Various words echoed in the song corresponded to a number of synchronized actions, as the fishermen used the otamo to lift fish from large sea going boats to smaller boats used to transport the catch to …show more content…
Several of the stances bear similar names and form, and the vocabulary used in describing actions in these activities are virtually identical. For instance, “kata” designates the form and movement patterns associated with a certain Taiko song, but also refers to a pre-defined set of movements practiced by martial artists. Similarly, the concept of a kiai in Taiko refers to the troupe vocalizing a shout in unison, often to amplify the group’s energy and keep tempo. Likewise, in martial arts, a kiai is used to focus a practitioner’s mind on the execution of a technique, and to magnify the force applied by the

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