Daily McGuffin: Japanese Kodo Drummers

Check out this YouTube Video of Japanese Kodo drummers. They bring the ancient and time-honored traditions of Japan to their explosive performance, representing the best of Taiko drumming.

Kododet The Japanese word "Kodo" conveys two meanings: First, "heartbeat," considered the primal source of all rhythm. The sound of the great taiko drum is said to resemble a mother's heartbeat as heard in the womb. Secondly, the characters of the word “Kodo” can mean "children of the drum," a reflection of Kodo's desire to play their drums simply, with the heart of a child.

Kodo’s performance includes pieces based on the traditional rhythms of regional Japan (O-daiko, Yatai-bayashi, Miyake, Yamauta, Nishimonai), pieces composed for Kodo primarily use Miya-daiko and Shime-daiko (drums whose shell consists of one solid piece of hollowed-out wood) as well as Oke-daiko (drums whose shell is constructed out of a number of separate wood planks).

The shell of the large O-daiko is made from the trunk of a large, African Bubinga tree, and its heads, each measuring over one meter in diameter, are made from cow hide. The weight of the drum together with the stand, yatai, on which it rests is a staggering 882 lbs.