The Taiko Drumming Experience

I rode La Potra on a beautiful, cool night to check out a local place that teaches Japanese Taiko drumming. My friend David spoke highly of it and invited me to stop by and check it out myself.  The word “Taiko” means drum in Japanese. The history of Taiko, Japanese Drumming, goes back centuries. It began in religious ceremonies, in the Shrines and changed throughout the years. The cultural value of Taiko among Japanese people is about spirit, technique, body, and etiquette that come through the fundamentals of Bushido, the code of the Samurai. This is the most important message for Japanese*. I arrived late trying to find the dojo or school near an industrial area in Orlando. I came in with high expectations, multitude of people beating rows of drums to the same beat and things like that. Instead I found silence as I entered the dojo and saw three women sitting on the floor talking to each other. After formal Japanese greetings, I was given Taiko sticks (bachi) and a Taiko (drum). No basic instructions, no theory, it was hands on from the beginning. I mirrored the women beating the drums to a rhythm and surprisingly to me I followed without missing a beat. They were practicing for an upcoming event in Disney’s Epcot and I helped them keeping the basic beat or “Ji-uchi”. I got  into the Taiko stance, one leg straight and the other one bent,  feeling the rhythm and beating the drum for about 90 minutes. It was an awesome experience that I would like to share with my family and bring them along next time for more exploring of  the Japanese culture.

*ref: http://www.matsuriza.com/html/about.html