Japanese Taiko Groups

This is a listing of all the Japanese Taiko groups that I have heard of. I have put up whatever infomation I possess, no matter how incomplete or sketchy. So some listings will have contact information, but some will only be a name depending on what I know about them. If you can add something, or fill in some of the holes in my info, please contact Dave at wateya@taiko.com.

All biographical or historical information given along with a group listing has been submitted by the group itself. Editorial comments by Rolling Thunder are enclosed in [brackets].

Ada Daiko
905-15, Ada 118
Kunigami Son,Okinawa

Akikawafujin Daiko
1-36-5 Ohmorikita
Ohtaku, Tokyo 143 Japan
Fax: +81 03-5762-7574
Email: eiwa@gol.com

Arahan (the group of Amano Sen)
2- 9- 19 Chuo, Kofu Shi, Yamanashi Ken, Japan

Awaji Mikoto
Awaji-jima, Japan

Bancho Matsuri Daiko
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 03-3234-2969 or +81 080-79-24869
Email: banchomatsuridaiko@netscape.net

Bushu Karazishi Taiko
Ishihata Mizuho-machi 837-4
Nishitama-guru, Tokyo, Japan
Fax: +81 0425-52-7682

Chichibu Yatai Bayashi Preservation Organization
President: Toshio Takahashi
2-11-3 Kamimachi, Chichibu-Shi
Saitama-Ken, Japan 386

c/o Kunio Kurokawa
222 Nagaokakyo
Sukai Heights 26-3
Babamibashiri Nagaokakyo,
Kyoto 617 JAPAN

Club Leo
Contact: Leonard Eto
Email: chappagogo@aol.com

Gojinjo Daiko Ishikawa Ken, Japan
Tel: +81 768-34-1122

Eto, Leonard - See Club Leo.

Hachiouji Daiko Ryujinkai
1-36-5 ohmorikita
Ohtaku, Tokyo 143 Japan
Fax: +81 03-5762-7574

Since the old days, there have been many festivals and carnivals held at Hachiouji. There was once a young man who could really play the Taiko well. He called all the Taiko freaks together and organized Ryujinkai. Ryujinkai always tries their best to study rhythm and playing skills in order to make the wonderful world of Taiko known to the public at large! They have appeared many times on TV and the stage.

Hachioujisogo Daiko
1-36-5 ohmorikita
Ohtaku, Tokyo 143 Japan
Fax: +81 03-5762-7574
Email: eiwa@gol.com

Hinodaiko-noroshi kai
Contact: Makoto Suga
1-36-5 ohmorikita
Ohtaku, Tokyo 143 Japan
Email: eiwa@gol.com

Hinodaiko is located in Hino city, which is near Western Tokyo and famous for Hino Trucks. Hino city used to be called "Hibino" during the Samurai era. The Samurai used beacons, drums and bells for their tele-communication. Hinodaiko's songs are dedicated to the ancestors of the city, who communicated from the heart with their emotions.

According to the legend, there was a prototype antecedent to "Hi no Taiko" more than 300 years ago. In 1955, the way to play the Taiko was passed by an interested the towns' people. The skill was called "Hi no Taiko" after the movies' title then. Afterward, "Hi no Taiko" was awarded the status of "Intangible Cultural Property of Mikuni Town, Fukui Pre." on Sep 21 in 1972. Today "Hi no Taiko" Preservation Club has about 10 members, and the skill is being handed down from generation to generation.

Hono Daiko
c/o Asano Taiko Co., Ltd.
148 Fukudome
Matto, Ishikawa-ken
924 Japan
Tel: +81 0762-77-1277
Fax: +81 0762-77-2228

[Hono Daiko is a powerful trio of women who specialize in Odaiko playing. They are sponsored by the Asano Taiko Co., and regularly perform internationally.]

International Christian University Wadaiko Club
Mitaka-shi, Tokyo

Akita City, Akita Prefecture, Japan.

Ikazuchi Taiko Ensemble of Osaka
Osaka, Japan.

1-36-5 Ohmorikita
Ohtaku, Tokyo 143 Japan
Fax: +81 03-5762-7574
Email: eiwa@gol.com

Kadena Kokusai Matsuri Daiko (Kadena International Festival Drummers)
Director: John Neal
Email: jneal@syurei.ii-okinawa.or.jp
Address: PSC 80 Box 11761
APO AP 96367-1761

Kadena Kokusai Matsuri Daiko group is made up of people on American Status of Forces Agreement with Japan living in Okinawa. Members are high school age and up. The group was formed in March 1995, with help and training provided by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, an internationally known Okinawan group. Their style of drumming differs from Wa-daiko in that the drummers carry their drums. It is a combination of Eisa drumming and Karate, choreographed to modern and traditional Okinawan music. The group uses mostly odaiko, but also includes paranku and shime-daiko. The groups drums are hand made by Seiki Shiroma (highly respected Okinawan drum and sanshin maker) in Okinawa City. The main difference in these drums and wa-daiko is that American pine is used to keep them light weight as they hang from the shoulders of the drummers. Kadena Kokusai Matsuri Daiko practices twice weekly on Kadena Air Force Base. The group performs on an average of 4 times a month at both American functions and Okinawan Matsuri. The group has also traveled & performed at matsuri on outer islands in the Okinawan Prefecture. A home page is currently in the works.

Kakeya Taiko
Kakeya, Japan
Tel: +81 85-462-0300

Kandamyojin Masakado Daiko
Rm 416 Aruberugo Ochanomizu
2-1-19 Surugadai Kanda
Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan 101
Tel: +81 03-3295-5890

Kanto Abare Daiko
1-24-1-403 Koishikawa
Bunkkyo-ku Tokyo
Japan 112
Contact: Yoshihisa Ishikura

[Mr. Yoshihisa IshikuraFs brother, Takemasa, is the leader of Matsuriza - the group that plays at Walt Disney World Epcot Center]

Keio Soushu Shidou Taiko Circle.
Tokyo, Japan

Kijima Daiko
Nagano Ken, Japan
Tel: +81 269-82-2114
Fax: +81 +81 0269-82-4007

Kobe Daiko
c/o Takeshi Kodama
19-1 Asahi-dori 3-chome
Chuo-ku, Kobe, 650
Email: Dan Frio at dano@sanynet.or.jp
Tel: +81 078-251-9025

Kodo Village, 148-1 Kaneta-shinden, Ogi, Sado, Niigata, 952-06 Japan
Tel: +81 0259-86-3630
Fax: +81 0259-86-3631
e-mail: JDC03000@nifty.ne.jp

Kokon Taiko

1-1-6 Ote-machi
Matsuyama, Ehime 790
Tel: +81 0899-43-8083

1-9, sho-ryu-ji
Nagaoka-kyo-shi, Kyoto-fu 617-0836
Contact: Tadakatsu Sonny Kawano
Tel: +81 75-955-1646
Email: taiko@kyotomusic.com

Makino, Minokamo city, Gifu prefecture, Japan
Contact: Jason Coladner
4-3-5 Moriyama-cho
Kobi Kodan Mansion #404
Minokamo-shi, Gifu-ken 505
Email: babana@kani.or.jp

Playing in a land of cascading rivers, green mountains, thundering waterfalls, and screaming eagles, Makino Daiko's drum playing owes alot to the rhythms of nature. Listening to the heavy pounding of our music, one feels engulfed in water, like standing under a towering waterfall, nearly drowning, but then discovering you can suddenly breath water! Makino Daiko's forty odd members range in age from six to sixty, Japanese and Americans, boys and girls playing together the drums they built themselves.

Manno Daiko
Manno village, Shikoku

Matsuri Shu
113-4 Omiyamachi Takatsugi Shimokyo-ku
Kyoto City, 615 Japan
Tel: +81 075 813-8615
Fax: +81 075 813-8616

Matsuri Shu is a professional Taiko group based in Kyoto. In Kyoto, there are many resources for traditional performing arts. Matsuri shu researched the culture and traditional performing arts of Kyoto to create performances that move the people of today.

Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 03-3469-7173

Miryarabi Taiko
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 03-3262-1232

Mishinoshima Taiko 3333 Kasari Kasari-cho
Oshima-gun, Kagoshima-ken 894-06
Kagoshima Prefecture, JAPAN
Team Leader: Hironobu Nishi
Tel: +81 0997-63-9269
Fax: +81 0997-63-1572
Email: shelley@po.synapse.or.jp

An Amami Island Taiko Group, playing indigenous hand-made island taiko to ancient Amami folk rhythms.

Miyabi Arashi Taiko
4-4-1-2106 Azabu Juban
Minato-ku, Tokyo 106
Contact: Director Moko Igarashi
Tel/Fax: +81 03-5442-3368
Email: stormy@gol.com

Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 03-3262-3310

Nihon Taiko Dojo
c/o Miyamoto Unosuke Shoten
6-1-15 Asakusa
Taiko-ku, Tokyo
Contact: Mr. Tosha Kiyonari
Tel: +81(03) 5603-1661 Fax: +81 (03) 5603-1662

Oedo Sukeroku Daiko
Hosono Bldg 1F
2-1-13 Sotokanda
Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81 03 3255 3484

This troupe, led by Seido Kobayashi, is named after the city of Edo and for Sukeroku, the dashing hero of a famous kabuki play in which a chivalrous commoner defeats a samurai to win a courtesanFs favor. Oedo Sukeroku Taiko was the first professional troupe in Japan to focus its repertoire on this powerful instrument. [Oedo SukerokuFs dynamic style has had a tremendous influence on many groups, particularly in North America.]

Ohmi Mukade Drum Preservation Association
Yasu Municipal Office Commerce & Tourism Department
Tel: +81 81-775-87-1121
Association President: Mitsusaburo Washida
Contact: Matthew Richards (romulus@pop.biwako.or.jp)

The Ohmi Mukade Daiko Preservation Association was established in 1985 as an amateur group by the town of Yasu. The Mukade Daiko group performs about 40 times per year. This includes performances at the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium for the IBM baseball team in the national baseball tournament. Members of the group also travelled to Malaysia in 1991 and Australia in 1992 where they performed in the annual Regional Overseas Tourism Fairs. In the summer of 1996 junior high school members travelled to Yasu's Sister City, Clinton Township, Michigan for a number of performances. Residents enjoyed them so much that they were invited back in 1998 to perform in the elementary and junior high schools. Ohmi Mukade Daiko always welcomes new members.

Ohtemon Taiko Group

(Japan Office)
#303 Green Heights Ohkurayama
845-14 Futoh-cho, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama-city
Kanagawa 222-0031JAPAN
Contact: Daisuke Yamada
Cellular E-mail: joe.y@t6.ezweb.ne.jp
PC E-mail: yamada@ondekoza.com

Za Ondekoza was formed in 1969 on Sado Island by Tagayasu Den. In communal life on the island, young men and women previously unassociated with traditional performing arts underwent vigorous physical training in marathon running and technical training in the art of taiko, the great Japanese drums. In 1975, the company made a striking debut in the U.S. when all members crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon and immediately ran to the stage for a performance. [In the early 1980Fs, the original members split off to form Kodo. Mr. Den then formed a new Ondekoza.] Za Ondekoza kicked off an unprecedented tour of the U.S. with a performance in New York 's Carnegie Hall on November 12, 1990, capped by a concert in the same hall on December 3, 1993. Between those dates, its members ran a total of 14,910.4km (maximum 64.64km in one day) and performed 355 concerts in cities throughout the country, averaging $2 per day for meals and wearing out 121 pair of shoes in their 1,071 day quest for the ultimate musical and spiritual experience.

Osaka Dadadadan Tenko
1-16-22 Manji-cho
Higashi Osaka-shi, Osaka
Japan 579
Tel: +81(0729) 82-3533
Fax: +81 (0729) 81-9096

Osuwa Daiko
2-5-16 Sinmei-cho
Nagano-ken, 394
Tel: +81 0266 23-6146
Fax: +81 0266 23-8832

Otaiko Za Myojin
Fukui, Japan.
Tel: +81 0778-36-1234

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (Eisa)
3-7-2 Chuo, Okinawa City, Japan
Tel: +81 098-53-0714

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko USA Headquarters
2000 Spencerville Road
Spencerville, MD 20868 USA
Tel: (562) 879-0945
Fax: (562) 421-1267

Ryukyu-Koku Matsuri Daiko, L.A. Branch
E. San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center
West Covina, California, USA
Contacts: Aiko Tokunaga (310) 695-9533 and Doreen Whiteley (909) 369-8644

Ryukyu Taiko School--Mitsuhimi Taikonokai
213-402 Mekaru, Naha-Shi,
Okinawa, Japan 900
Tel: +81 098-861-1210

Sakurajima Daiko
Sakurajima, Japan

Sanzo Daiko
Fukuyama University

Shachi Taiko
Himeji, Japan

Shinano Kuni Chikumagawa Sakakijin Daiko
Minamijo 3978, Sakaki Town,
Nagano-Ken, Japan 398-06
Tel: +81 0268-82-3220

Shinjoh Taiko
#102 1-20-11
Namiki Kawaguchi-shi
Saitama 332-0034, Japan
Contact: David Dunn
Tel: +81 048-257-0067
Fax: +81 048-257-0067
Email: taikoddon@mx3.ttcn.ne.jp

Shinjo Daiko is a brand new taiko group in the kawaguchi area. They welcome new members. The instructor is also a member of Bancho Matsuri Daiko, the British Embassy group.

Shinnyo Daiko
Tachikawa, Japan
Tel: +81 482-53-6996

Kanazawa, Ishikawa

Taiko-dan Jajin
President: Tadakazu Hagiwara
Fax: +81 81-278-56-3450
email address: T_Hagi@tohgoku.or.jp

Taiko-dan Jajin is a taiko group in tone-village, gumma Prefecture, Japan. Now they are serching for a good teacher and good original songs.

Taiko Center Inc.
56 Chiyohara-cho Katsura
Nishikyo-ku Kyoto City
615-8085 Japan
Tel: 81-75-392-6975
Fax: 81-75-392-6978
Email: postmaster@taiko-center.co.jp

Tamamura Takeshi
Echizen gonbei-daiko Hozonkai
Fukui ken, Imadatechou, Nishi Kashio 10-1

Tanabata Taiko
Hiratsuka, Japan

Tao Entertainment Co., Ltd.
Wako Bldg. 6/F
2-1, Daimyo 2-chome, Chuou-ku, Fukuoka-shi
Email: info@drum-tao.com

Tennon Daiko
Email:linkpaul@mb.aikis.or.jp, 110077.720@compuserve.com

Tennon-daiko was formed in September 1982 by those who wished to create their own art form using the Taiko. They hail from Gobo city in the Hidaka area of Wakayama-ken, Japan. The name, Tennon-daiko, was given to them by the chief priest of Tennonzan-dojou temple and their history began. Their aims are to establish a lasting place for Tennon-daiko in the local cultural scene and to permit children a chance to participate in a very healthy activity through taiko drumming.

Tsukudon Daiko
Tsukuba City, Japan
Meets Saturday nights (18:00-21:30) at the Kasuga Kouminkan, Tsukuba

Tsukudon was formed by a handful of enthusiasts in 1991 in the wake of a wadaiko seminar held at a Tsukuba community center. Since then, the group Tsukudon has been steadily developing its repertory, increasing the number of performances and refining its presentation to be one of the areas most energetic amateur groups.

Tsukudon takes its name from Tsukuba Mountain and the city at the foot of the mountain, Tsukuba City. The 'don' of Tsukudon is given the character of ko, as in taiko. The word also coincides with the mnemonic used to teach the basic rhythm of the famous Miyakejima Taiko to learners: tsu-ku-don... tsu-ku-don... tsu-ku-don-don...

Wadaiko Himiko

Wadaiko Ichiro Drummers Japan

Wakon Taiko
Chiba, Japan
Tel: +81 43-244-3269

Akita, Japan
Tel: +81 187-4-3311

Warabiza is a performing ensemble from Japan. This group has been active in Japan for about 45 years. It has one of the largest collections of Japanese folk music and dance. Their concert program is a combination of singing, folk dance, and taiko. They support seven performing ensembles in Japan and have over 250 members in the company. Warabiza has inspired many other groups, including Ondekoza and Kodo.

Wasabi Daiko

Yamada Daiko
Tosayamada, Japan

Yamashita, Iwakichi & Noriko

[Iwakichi and Noriko Yamashita have seperated and are longer working with taiko. The following information is for historical purposes only.] Iwakichi & Noriko Yamashita, were based in Kyoto, Japan. Each summer, since 1991, they toured Europe and gave 5-days workshops in Sweden for beginners and advanced students. The highlights of their 1996 tour were performances at "Falun Folkmusik Festival" in Sweden, "Womad Festival" in England and "Sphinx Festival" in Belgium. Iwakichi & Noriko collected extensive material during their travels in Japan. Their concert program is a reflection of these travels - modern arrangements of traditional rhythms. They also composed modern music for Taiko and Shakuhachi.

476 Iwaido, Asuka-mura, Takaichi-gun, Nara 634-01, Japan
Contact: Ninomiya Chisako
Tel: (+81) 744.54-2984
Fax: (+81) 744.54-2984
Email: yamato@da.mbn.or.jp

Established by Masaaki Ogawa in 1993, "Taiko Drums Beatmen Yamato" are based in Asuka village, Nara prefecture. Since being established, they created original music using Japanese drums and had already performed more than 400 times by 1997. They perform 70-80 times on various size stages per year on a tour titled "Spirits Tour" in Japan and overseas.

Yufuin Genryu Daiko
Ohita Ken, Japan
Tel: +81 977-84-4549

Zampa Ufujishi Daiko
Aza Yagi 718
Nakagusuku-Son, Okinawa-Ken
Japan 901-2405
Tel: +81 098-895-9467