The history goes back to the Jomon period (10,000 BC to 300BC) Things that can be recognized as taiko are excavated from ancient tombs made in the Jomon period. Especially, excavation of a clay figure with drums showed that drums were used from that time. It is said the people from Asian continent brung and the development of Dengaku (traditional art consist from music and dance started in Heian period) it became popular in Matsuri (festival) and Ohayashi (Japanese orchestra) In the Sengoku period (15 to 16 century) Taiko was used to lead the troops that you may see in samurai dramas. Currently, Taiko are used in Bon Odori, Awa Odori and communicating with gods at the temple and shrine. Also used in Kabuki and Gagaku etc.
Generally it takes three years at least but currently some workshop finishes within a year.
Cut the timber in an appropriate size. In case of more than 60cm diameter required, 100 years aged tree is used for some Taiko. Drying at this process.
2. Nakanuki, Aratori
Shave outer to make beauty curve after hollowing out.
3. Drying Arado
Finished Aratori is called Arado. And drying a year at least. (max. five years)
Cow skin is used for drumhead. Cutting it into the appropriate size, moisturize and fitting into Taiko's mold. (Mostly this process is stored at warehouse)
Set tensioning, dub to control the sound. Rivet drumhead.
Cutting off the drumhead edge. (Some leave as it is)
Most people will imagine this type. It also called Miyadaiko which are used at shrines and temples. Most favored material is Zelkova and also Pseudocydonia, Japanese ash, Pine, Cherry tree are used. Recently, rigid urethane and other material are used.
Size: 1尺 (shaku) = 30cm, 1寸 (sun) = 3cm
Commonly seen in musical accompaniment of Ohayashi and Shishimai (Lion dance) Most Shimedaiko drumhead tightened with bolt and rope over hollowed out trunk. Preferred to use Zelkova, and generally cow skin for drumhead. There are two types of Shimedaiko,
1. Taiko performance: Five types of drumhead thickness. 1 Namitsuke -> 2 Ni-chogake -> 3 San-chogake,
4 Yon-chogake, 5 Go-chogake (thickest) Thicker can make higher tone.
2. Matsuri, folk song, Gagaku (ancient imperial court music and dances), Noh (Japanese traditional arts).
Most used in Northern region of Japan. The appearance like Shimedaiko, however not hollowed out. Made of assembled wood. Most types are carrying over from the shoulder to play.
The greatest feature is the short trunk and its sound. Does not reverberate like Nagadodaiko, low tone.
Shape like an hourglass. Beat direct with hand to play.
No trunk, round tightened drumhead with handle. Beating with Bachi (Stick) makes sound reverberation.