Time Honoured Tradition
Taiko Drums are simple instruments. Timber, leather and steel tacks make up the essential elements, but the craft of building a drum is a highly technical and refined art.
Japanese traditional taiko start from a tree stump which is slowly and carefully hollow out over a period of months and carved by hand to achieve a sturdy, beautifully proportioned shell. Due the time and labour involved, the price of a taiko drum can be more than a family car.
Luckily for us there is an easier way to build Taiko, which is also more conservation conscious. Coopering techniques of making barrels can produce an excellent substitute for a Nagado Taiko shell, and used wine barrels and readily available here in this great wine making country.
We have been continually improving our methods to create stronger, tighter, more impressive sounding Taiko drums, and developing new drums which can be built quickly and easily, but which can stand up to the heavy beating Taiko Drumming demands.
Tassie made Taiko Drums
We have had the great fortune to find people locally who have the skills and enthusiasm to help bring together our efforts to build local taiko drums.
The group have many Nagado daiko (barrel drums) Okedo daiko (rope-fastened), and one huge Odaiko (Okedo style) which were made by members, and have also purchased a number of commercially made drums over the past few years.
Our Shimedaiko Drums
On September 21st. 2003, Prof. Miyamoto donated four custom-made shimedaikos to our University on behalf of Mie University, Japan. The drums are wonderful, and a huge help to our group, in that we can extend our repertoire and add more colour to performances.
Most Sincere Thanks
We are indebted to Marcus Tatton of ‘Log Drums’ for his assistance and advice on skinning our drums and supplying excellent quality skins to us.
We are also indebted to John Murphy of the Tasmanian Cask Company for his enthusiastic support for our project to make high quality Taiko Drums, and the use of his workshop to build them.
Thanks also to the Australia-Japan Society and the Japan Club, who generously donated the funds to build our very first drums at a time when we were but a fledgling group of drummers with no financial resources.