Taiko – The First Sounds of Life

Taiko drums, which most people associate with Japan, actually came to the island nation from China via Korea sometime between 500 BC – 300 AD. While I find western music drum solos with their snares and cymbals  quite boring, there is a primitive, atavistic quality to Taiko. Evidenced by Eitetsu Hayashi, founding member and the premier performer of the world-renowned groups “SADO-ONDEKOZA” and “KODO”.


What does it take to become a Taiko drummer? I’m afraid embedding of the following videos has been disabled on YouTube but you can see them by clicking on the link.


Taiko has spread beyond the shores of Japan to all corners of the globe…


Embedded memory from the womb. . .and you can hear it embedded here, too:



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2 responses to “Taiko – The First Sounds of Life

  1. What? You don’t think that seven or so minutes’ worth from In-a-gadda-da-vita is the height of Western cultural achievement? Huh?

    I confess I can’t hear that one without feeling some affection, but I really enjoyed your linked videos. I know little about Japanese culture generally, but I participated in a Japanese literature challenge this year and enjoyed it. Learning about a culture so different from ours is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle – it takes a while to begin seeing how the pieces fit together.

    Actually, Linda, I don’t know much about Japanese culture, either. But I have liked the Taiko drums since I first heard them a long time ago. Yesterday, for no reason at all, they just popped into my head and I went to YouTube for fun “et voila” as they say in Antibes.

    One of my all-time favorite books is James Clavell’s Shogun. I’ve read it three times. When I first arrived in Louisiana I got a job for a while as a deckhand on a supply boat. People who spend a lot of time on boats are generally readers, and there were tons of books on board. However, as you might imagine from the boat I was on, the ship’s library was mostly Louis L’Amour. Second hitch (we worked 14/14) I brought Shogun along. When the captain saw it he commented that he hadn’t read that many pages since he’d gotten out of school.

    A few days after I’d finished the book and left it in the galley, I saw the captain at breakfast (I was on the mate’s watch). “You SOB,” he said. “You brought that damned book on board.”


    “I haven’t been able to sleep for the last three days. I get off watch and tell myself I’m only going to read two chapters and the next thing I know it’s time to go back on watch again.”

    • Absolutely wonderful story! It’s happened a time or two to me, and when a book grabs you like that it’s just magic.

      I confess I have a hard time picking up a BIG book. They just seem so daunting. There’s nothing more depressing than getting twenty pages in and having to let the thing sit around.

      That’s all right – one day I won’t be caring for mom or varnishing. The crystal ball sees far more reading, writing and travel 😉

      I LOVE the big books and hate it when they finally, and inevitably, run out of pages. Sometimes they’re hard to get through, though. I remember starting Lonesome Dove with great anticipation. About 75 pages or so into it I put it aside. One of the most boring things I’d ever come across. Then when I got the job over in France I packed it up knowing I’d need something to read living in a land where I didn’t understand the language. Well, I couldn’t put it down. I’ve read it three times now and all the other McMurtry westerns, too.