Odaiko - The Big Drums

Odaiko simply means "big, fat drum", and with very good reason: The worlds largest odaiko is almost ten feet across the head! While the term odaiko refers to any drum larger than 84cm in diameter, some odaiko are on a almost unbelievable scale, as the images below will prove. Odaiko can refer to a large drum of any style, but usually is reserved for drums of the nagado style. The odaiko on this page are all of the nagado (long body) style, which is the typical barrel shaped taiko that most people are familiar with.

Rolling Thunder is proud to be able to offer Odaiko crafted by the Asano Taiko Co., ltd. of Japan. With almost 400 years of taiko making experience, Asano Taiko represents uncompromising handcrafted quality. If you are looking for an instrument with unmatchable stage presence and show-stopping, earthshaking sound, please contact Rolling Thunder.



Making the Odaiko

Making The Odaiko

The Asano Taiko Co. states, "Since our establishment in 1609, we have refined our knowledge and techniques so now we, the craftsmen and women of Asano Taiko, reared by long tradition, have been able to create Japan's greatest taiko." Take a peek a some of the secret processes used build a huge Asano odaiko.

Meiji Jingu Odaiko

Meiji Jingu Odaiko

This odaiko was made for the Meiji Jingu (Meiji Grand Shrine) in Tokyo and commemorates the 60th anniversary of the installation of the Kami (God/Spirit) into the Shrine. It is 215 centimeters in diameter across the belly, 185 centimeters across the heads, or about 6 shaku 2 sun in the traditional Japanese measure. Completed in 1980. Click on the image to see a bigger version (30k).

N Odaiko

The "N!" Odaiko

The N! odaiko was made for Kondo Sanko Inc., of Nagoya city. Completed in 1984, N! is 240cm across the belly, 195 centimeters across the heads, or about 6 shaku 5 sun. It weighs around 3 tons, including the cart. The price is listed as $N!00,000.00. Click on the image to see a bigger version (68k).

Takayama Odaiko

World's Largest Nagado Odaiko

This is currently the largest nagado-style odaiko in the world. Made for the Festival Forest Art Museum in Takayama city. It is 267cm across the belly and 204cm across the heads, or 6 shaku 8 sun. Three years in the making, this odaiko was completed in 1996. Although the cart is done in the traditional Goshoguruma style, it is fully equipped with disc brakes to deal with the 4 ton weight. A companion hira style odaiko, just slightly smaller (231cm across the belly), was also completed at the same time. Click on the image to see a bigger version (36k).