Taiko is a drum. It is made from a open wooden barrel, covered with animal skin that is stretched over both ends. It is played with two sticks called Bachi.
There are two ways of fitting the skin to the drums. The drums that have skins tacked on both sides are called Byodome-daiko.
These drums are easy to use therefore you will always see people play and perform at local events using these drums. In today’s life byodome-daiko is made out of wood, the wood comes from the Keyaki zelkova tree or something similar to that with a type of horsehide stretched over the ends.
A section of the it is cut from a selected tree, with correct thickness and then its hallowed out. This takes a lot of time and effort, therefore byodome-daiko is very expensive and many of their owners use them for many years and simply replacing the horsehide when it gets worn out.
A tsukeshime-daiko is made a little differently. There are a certain number of holes made around the edges and two thick pieces of horsehide will be stretched on around the frames. Then they are placed along the length of the drum, pulling two pieces of horsehide tightly together.
The unique sound of each drum is determined by the tightness of the hemp and how it has been fitted.
Did you know the drums used in Noh as well as Kabuki are of this type and are also known as Noh-daiko.
Some of the Taikos are made from staves or strips of wood rather than hollowed out block, with horsehide that is stretched across the ends.
These types of drums are called Okedo-daiko and they come in all sizes, some are smaller and can be carried hanging across your shoulder and some are useful in parades.
The biggest Taiko ever made was about 4.8 meters in diameter and it was made by Asano Taiko in Ishikawa Prefecture and is listed in the Guiness Book of Records.