What’s taiko?

Taiko is the Japanese word for “great drum”.

This ancient musical artform originated centuries ago in Asia. The resounding beat of the massive drums, ranging from one foot to six feet in diameter, could be heard over great distances and historically was used as a means of communication.

Taiko could be used to signal distant villages, such as to warn of the approach of an advancing enemy or an impending disaster; or to signal troops on the battlefield. In shrines and temples throughout present-day Japan, taiko can still be heard, although today its purpose is more spiritual and celebratory, often occasioned by village festivals. Only in the last 50 years in Japan and the last 25 years in North America has taiko evolved into a powerful performing art.

Fushicho Daiko is Arizona’s premier professional performing taiko group. Through their performances, workshops, residencies, and regularly scheduled classes taiko is alive and well in the Southwest. Fushicho Daiko and its members are Arizona Commission on the Arts roster artists.