Since our recent discovery of International Drum Month (yes, that’s a real thing), we’re celebrating with a couple of photos from the archives. If you’ve spent a lot of time in Little Tokyo, you’ve undoubtedly seen, at one time or another, Taiko drummers. A regular fixture at annual community events and festivals like Nikkei Week, Obon Festivals, and the now defunct-Tofu Festival (sniff, sniff), Taiko drums are known for their “thunderous” beats. A friend mentioned that they resonate on an emotional level, equating the sound of a group of Taiko drums with heartbeats.
People play Taiko drums together in ensembles. These pictures are of Kinnara Taiko, a group based out of the Senshin Buddhist Temple in LA. One of the first Taiko groups in the U.S., their Wikipedia (no official website, so possibly unreliable source!) page states that they place “more emphasis on on participation, self-awareness and discovering the joy in ‘just playing’ taiko rather than stressing perfection and professionalism.”
Happy International Drum Month, Everyone!
Photos of Kinnara Taiko at the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Week of Performing Arts, May 7-14 (year unknown). The event was at the Triforium in downtown LA and sponsored by The Korea Times.