The Japanese art of Taiko (太鼓) drumming – or wadaiko (和太鼓) as it is called in Japan – is a dynamic combination of choreography, fluidity, power and rhythm using a broad range of Japanese percussion instruments. The modern form of Taiko is known as kumi-daiko (組太鼓, lit. “drum collection”) and consists of many components in technical rhythm, form, stick grip, clothing, and the particular instrumentation. Ensembles will often use different types of barrel-shaped nagadō-daiko (長胴太鼓) as well as smaller shime-daiko (締め太鼓). In addition to drums, many groups use vocals, string, and woodwind instruments for accompaniment.
Taiko groups all around the world are contributing to what is quickly becoming a global art form. It is estimated that there are over 8000 Taiko groups in Japan alone, more than a dozen groups in Canada, and many more worldwide.