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      Learn — Okedo Daiko

      Maintenance of Taiko

       

      1. Storing & Handling  

      2. Maintenance of Head  

      3. Maintenance of Body  

       

      1. Storing & Handling

      Best & Worst Place to Store Taiko

      Best place to store taiko is well-ventilated and dry place. Desiccant should be put into it to avoid moisture if the taiko is stored in a case. Besides, please be aware of mice and termites. On the other hand, worst place is humid, extremely hot or cold place. Please store it in a cool, dark place to avoid direct sunlight.

      Worst Place to Store Taiko

      Method for Dealing with Wet Taiko

      First, please wipe the wet taiko with a dry towel, and then, leave it in the shade to dry. If the head is too wet and soft obviously, more time is needed to dry it.  

      Method for Dealing with Taiko Got Mold

      To remove mold on the taiko head, rub with a small-grit sandpaper (from 800 to 1200).  Never use detergent and bleach, which may cause tarnish and transformation of the head. It will shorten the lifespan of the head. Please avoid warm and humid storage not to get mold. 

      Storing Taiko in Case

      Carrying case helps to carry the taiko more easily in safe. Also, it prevents from the damage like scratch. However, storing taiko in a case for a long time is not recommended. It may cause mold on the heads and crack in the body. To avoid such damage, user should take the taiko out of the case and leave it in the fresh air regularly to keep the best condition. Or, put some desiccants in the case to prevent moisture. 

      Store in Taiko Case

      Storing Taiko in Blanket

      As well as a case, a blanket protects taiko from dusts and scratch. However, it gets wet easily and may cause mold on the heads. User needs to take the taiko out of the blanket and expose it in the fresh air regularly. Also, blanket needs to be dried under the sunshine. 

      Method for Carrying Taiko in Safe

      Taiko (nagado daiko) has 2 iron handles (kan) at each side of the body. Large taiko should be carried by 2-3 people using them. Dragging a taiko may damage the head of taiko and rolling a taiko may damage the body. Usually, taiko case has handles and it's easy to carry a taiko more easily in safe. Fasten it with belt firmly not to fall off when it is carried by car. 

       

      Material of Taiko

      Do you know the skin and wood of taiko? See also this article.  

      Material of Taiko

       

      2. Maintenance of Head

      Lifespan of Head

      Lifespan of the taiko head depends on how often the taiko is played. In general, it gets loose gradually as it's played. Brand-new taiko has relatively high pitch and flat sound and get lower and deeper gradually as it's played. Loosened head surely loses the resonance and makes just a low sound (dead sound). The head is on its last leg if it only makes a dead sound. Usually, it can be tightened up again at taiko shop if it has mimi part (the hem of the head left after studding). It might be cheaper than replacing with a new skin. 

      Loosen Head

      If the head has ear (surplus at the rim, usually shaped like a tube), it can be tightened up again with a special instrument at taiko shop. However, old skin in bad condition needs to be replaced with new skin. 

      Reason of Loosen Head

      If the taiko with moist inside the body is left under the sun, the heads get loose. If such wet taiko is dried suddenly, the heads often become uneven and loose. Protect taiko with a case and blanket from the direct sunlight when it is left under the sun. If the heads got moist, dry the taiko in the shade to avoid humid place. If the heads are soaked in the rain, wipe up wet completely with a dry towel as soon as possible, and then, leave it in the cool and dark place. 

      Torn Head

      Head of taiko is expendable. It needs to replace with new skin if it's broken. It shouldn't be left as it is even if one side head is broken. Taiko with broken head doesn't make sound well. Replacing with new skin is only the method to solve the problem. Although it depends on how often it's played, it seems that the head was defective in nature. We can repair the taiko including replacing a skin but round-trip shipping cost is required. Please inquire us.

      Torn Taiko Head

      Torn Taiko Head

      Surface of Head

      Usually, the surface of the new skin is even and smooth and becomes rough as it's played. You could say that it's a sign that the taiko is ready to make a good sound.  Generally speaking, brand new taiko has stretched extra hard head which produces a little high-pitched sound. Players need to play taiko again and again for a certain period to get their desired sound. 

      Scribbles on Head

      Stain written with water paint is mostly erased by rubbing softly with a wet towel. However, if it's written with acrylic or oil-based paint, it is hardly rubbed out with just a wet towel. In such case, user needs to rub it with small-grit sandpaper (from 800 to 1200) or waterproof paper like drawing a circle. Be careful not to shave it too much to avoid loosing its durability. Never use detergent or bleach. These chemicals will damage the head.

      Dirt on Head

      Using taiko for years, the head surely gets dirt and tanned. To clean the dirt, rub it gently with small-grit sandpaper (from 800 to 1200) or waterproof paper like drawing a circle. Be careful not to shave it too much to avoid loosing its durability. Never use detergent or bleach. These chemicals will reduce the durability of the head.

       

      3. Maintenance of Body

      Lifespan of Body and Maintenance Method

      Although it depends on material of wood and construction method, generally, taiko body made of solid keyaki (zelkova) wood lasts for a long time, without exaggerating, for hundred years. To keep it in good shape, cover it with a case and store in well-ventilated and dry place to add humid, extremely hot and cold place. In case that it doesn't played for a long time, it needs to leave in fresh air regularly. For shime daiko and okedo daiko, it should be loosen the rope and bolts if it isn't played for a long time. To reduce the tension between body and heads, they last longer. If the body gets any crack, it should be repaired as soon as possible. 

      Cracks on Body

      If the body gets cracks, it should be repaired by professional craftsman or taiko maker. The repair fee depends on how bad the crack is. Don't leave it for a long time. It will get worse and the repair fee will get higher. 

      Painting Peeled off

      If the painting on the body is peeled off, it should be repaired by professional craftsman or taiko maker. The repair fee depends on how bad the crack is. Don't leave it for a long time. It will get worse and the repair fee will get higher.

      Dents on Body

      The edge of the body usually gets dents as it's played for years. Most taiko makers  use a hard wooden material on the edge but it's generally inevitable. If the dent is too deep and the gap between body and head is remarkably wide, the sound quality gets worse. In that case, it needs to make the edge flat and re-pitch the head.

      Dents on Taiko Body

      Loosen Kan (Handle)

      If the kan (handle) get loose, one side of head needs to be removed. Sometimes, it's necessary to change the part to place it if the previous part is really messed up. If it is loosen, don't carry the taiko by holding the handles. It may injure the user if the handle suddenly falls off or the body gets cracks.

      Loose Taiko Kan Handle

      Rusted Byo (Stud)

      It may damage the body and head if it's left. If studs get rusted, the handle would wall off in a worst scenario. Rub stud with sandpaper. Apply anti-rust chemicals and paint it with black paint. 

      Rusted Byou Stud

       

      Related Articles

      Material of Taiko

      Which material are these made of? See also this article. 

      Material of Taiko 


      Size of Taiko

      Which size should I use? See also this article. 

      Size of Taiko 

       

      😚Thank you for reading this to the end. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments😉

      Material of Taiko

      Material of Taiko

       

      1. Nagado Daiko  

      2. Shime Daiko 

      3. Katsugi Oke Daiko  

      4. Eisa Daiko  

       

      1. Nagado Daiko

      Nagado daiko is the most popular type of taiko also called miya daiko and odaiko. The best material is keyaki wood, Japanese zelkova wood. There are a wide range of the nagado daiko from the low price one to the excellent one. In addition, the metal parts are also important in the respect of the look.

      Construction:

      Traditionally, it's hollowed out of a log, which is cut in proper length. Craftsmen used to use chisels to hollow it in the old time, but now they use machines to hollow, whittle and polish the body.

      Kurinuki Solid Shell and Shusei Stave Shell

      Kurinuki (Hollowed-out Solid Shell): It is original structure, which is made of one piece of wood. It's the excellent because of not only the beautiful grain of the wood but also the deep and reflecting sounds produced inside the thick and hard wood. 

      Shusei (Stave Shell): It is constructed by wooden boards. There are not so many suitable wood for kurinuki available in these days. Also, based on the high technique to make the taiko as good as the kurinuki taiko, shusei type is becoming popular. It has relatively reasonable price and the light weight is one of the reason why it's popular. 

       

      Wood:

      Keyaki (zelkova) is the best. It's very hard and hardly scratched. Also, the grain is beautiful. Moreover, once studs to fasten taiko heads are driven into the keyaki body, they hardly come loose. Tamo (ash), sen (kalopanax), kusu (camphor) are also popular woods for taiko. However, it's getting difficult to get logs of those woods, which is big enough to become a taiko body in Japan. Thus, imported alternative woods are often used to make a large taiko.

      Wood Grain of Taiko

      Keyaki (Japanese zelkova): Keyaki is the best material of the taiko body.

      Meari (Second best wood): Meari is the term for the second best material such as tamo (ash) and sen (kalopanax).

      Other Material: Other than keyaki and meari, there are some taiko made of the various wood like matsu (pine), buna (beech), bubinga, and take (bamboo).

       

      Skin:

      Usually, cowhide is used for drum head. The cowhide of a three-years-old female Japanese cow is said to be the best material. Horsehide is often used for the katsugi oke daiko. A skin of water buffalo is used for the head of a larger taiko.

      Mimi-tsuki and Mimi-nashi

      Mimi: Literally, it means ear in Japanese. In taiko terminology, it means the hem of the head produced after studding (It's also called en). Usually, the cowhide is stretched over the top of body with ropes, which are laced through holes of the hem. Mimi used to be cut off after studding, but nowadays people leave it intentionally. When the head gets loose after using for years, it can be tightened up again if the mimi remains, instead of replacing the whole head.

      Quality: Taiko heads are made of cowhide tanned by craftsmen with their secret technique. The cowhide is cut in proper size and is stretched over the top of a taiko body using special equipment. Usually, taiko heads made of cowhide have some brown spots. Nowadays, some taiko makers bleach them for sightly sake, sacrificing their durability. The sound of the brand-new skin is high-pitch and it gets lower as it's played. Taiko players make the sound of their taiko by playing it again and again.

       

      Types of Taiko

      Do you know the types of taiko? See also this article. 

      Types of Taiko


      Maintenance of Taiko

      Do you know how to maintain taiko? See also this article. 

      Maintenance of Taiko

       

      2. Shime Daiko

      Shime daiko (tsukeshime daiko) consists of a body, heads, and a rope or bolts.  A membrane is tied with rope or bolt along the body.

      Shime Daiko Type

      Rope Jime: It is the traditional look of the shime daiko and tuned by a rope.

      Bolt Jime: It is tuned by bolt and nut and easy to tighten and loosen. So shime daiko needs to be loosened after use, it is more convenient than rope jime.

      Turnbuckle Jime: Turnbuckle is easier to tighten and loosen than bolt jime. 

       Shime Daiko Wood Skin

      Wood:

      Same as nagado daiko. Keyaki (zelkova) is the best material of the wood that makes the best sound. 

       

      Skin:

      Skin of the shime daiko is cowhide. The iron ring is inside the rim part of the shime daiko head.

       

      3. Katsugi Oke Daiko

      Katsugi oke daiko is a kind of okedo daiko, the body of which is made of the stave shell like oke (Japanese wooden tub and bucket). Compared to the nagado daiko (making deep and low-pitch sounds) and the shime daiko (making sharp and high-pitch sounds), it makes medium-pitch sounds.

      Okedo and Katsugi Oke Daiko

      Difference Between Okedo and Katsugi Oke: Katsugi oke is different from okedo daiko in some respects. First, the playing style of katsugi oke and okedo is different. Katsugi oke is hung with a strap from the player's shoulder. On the other hand, okedo is set on the stand. Second, the katsugi oke is made of light material so that the player carry it easily. Third, the katsugi oke's drum head is made of thinner than okedo's. So, do not play with hard bachi. 

       

      Wood:

      Body of the katsugi oke daiko is made of the light wood like kiri (paulownia) so that the player hang it from the shoulder.

       

      Skin:

      There are two types of the skin for katsugi oke daiko.

      Horsehide and Cowhide: The most obvious difference is the sound. The horsehide head is generally said to produces a brighter sound than cowhide. Cowhide is more durable than horsehide. The both are used commonly. taiko players seem to choose one matching their need. *Horsehide is temporally unavailable. 

       

       

      4. Eisa Daiko

      Eisa is music with dance originally performed in Okinawa. It was originally a traditional folk performance for a memorial service for their ancestor's spirits. It is close to the obon event in Japan mainland. Three drums are used in eisa music and dance.

      Eisa Taiko

      Eisa Odaiko: Eisa odaiko is a special taiko used for eisa dance. It is very light that the performers carry it with a sash. Players perform it with eisa dance energetically. The material is soft and more fragile than other taiko like nagado daiko which is made of the durable wood and skin.

      Eisa Shime DaikoThe eisa performers hold taiko with one hand and strike it with a bachi. This shime daiko is very light, and performers play and dance while swinging it. This dynamic playing style is unique for eisa. Eisa shime daiko is made of the soft and light material than shime daiko (tsuke shime daiko).

      ParankuParanku is a key instrument for eisa dance in Okinawa. Eisa performers hold it with one hand and strike it with a bachi with the other hand while dancing energetically. As well as other eisa drums, the material is not so durable.

       

      😚Thank you for reading this to the end. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments😉

      Size of Taiko

      Size of Taiko

       

      1. How to Know the Taiko Size  

      2. How to Find the Right Size  

       

      1. How to Know the Taiko Size

      -Nagado Daiko-

      To know the size of the nagado daiko, measure the head diameter.

      Head Diameter of Nagado Daiko

      The unit of the measurement is "shaku". For example, if the head diameter of the taiko is 45cm, it is 1.5 shaku size.

      Shaku and Sun

      Shaku & Sun

      "Shaku" and "Sun" are units of measure used for taiko drums. These units are not generally used in Japan anymore. The metric system of measures using the meter, centimeter and so on are the current standard in Japan now. However, taiko makers use "Shaku" and "Sun" when they make taiko drums. Shaku is pronounced as sha-ku. Sun is pronounced as su-ng.

       

      1 shaku is about 30cm (1000/33 cm) *about 12in (about 11.93in).
      1 sun is about 3cm (100/33 cm)  *about 1.2in. (about 1.193in).
      1 shaku is 10 sun.

      Example (Head Diameter)
      1 shaku is about 30cm *about 12in
      1.1 shaku is about 33cm *about 13in
      1.2 shaku is about 36cm *about 14in
      1.3 shaku is about 39cm *about 15in
      1.4 shaku is about 42cm *about 17in
      1.5 shaku is about 45cm *about 18in
      1.6 shaku is about 48cm *about 19in
      1.7 shaku is about 51cm *about 20in
      1.8 shaku is about 54cm *about 21in
      1.9 shaku is about 57cm *about 23in
      2 shaku is about 60cm *about 24in

      *There's a margin of error in length because it's handmade.

      -Shime Daiko-

      To know the size of the shime daiko, measure the thickness of the head.

      Size of Shime Daiko

      The word "cho-gake" is used. The bigger the number is, the thicker the head is. Only the smallest one is called namitsuke. 2 cho-gake is thicker than the namitsuke. So the thick head can be tensioned more, the sound produced becomes louder.

      *Please note that the size of the shime daiko varies depending on the maker.

      Namitsuke and Cho-gake

      Namituske & Cho-gake

      Different words are used for the shime daiko. The smallest size is called "namitsuke". "Cho-gake" is used for the bigger shime daiko than namitsuke.

      Example (Thickness of Head)
      Namitsuke is about 11mm *about 0.43in
      2 cho-gake is about 19mm *about 0.75in
      3 cho-gake is about 23mm *about 0.91in
      4 cho-gake is about 26mm *about 1.02in
      5 cho-gake is about 29mm *about 1.14in

      *There's a margin of error in length because it's handmade.


      -Hirado Daiko-

      Same as Nagado Daiko


      -Okedo Daiko (Okedo / Katsugi Oke)-

      Same as Nagado Daiko


      -Odaiko (Odaiko / Ohira Daiko / Ojime Daiko)-

      Same as Nagado Daiko


      -Eisa Daiko (Odaiko / Shime Daiko / Paranku)-

      Same as Nagado Daiko


      -Uchiwa Daiko-

       Same as Nagado Daiko

       

      Types of Taiko

      Do you know the types of taiko? See also this article. 

      Types of Taiko

       

      2. How to Find the Right Size

      Since the body size is different depending on the person, the right size of the taiko depends on the body size of the player. You can find the taiko that suits you by the following way:

      (1) Set the nagado daiko holizontally.
      (2) Stand in front of it.
      (3) Bend knees a little bit. Be careful not to stoop over.
      (4) Hold bachi and put the tips of them on the center of the head.

      If your arms are comfortable at this moment, the taiko should be good for you.

      Height of Nagado Daiko

      Height of the nagado daiko is generally calculated by multiplying diameter of head by 1.25 or 1.3. It depends on the taiko maker but Taiko Center uses 1.25. 

      Example (Height of Nagado Daiko)
      1.3 shaku has about 49cm* about 19 in height
      1.4 shaku has about 53cm* about 21 in height
      1.5 shaku has about 56cm* about 22 in height
      1.6 shaku has about 60cm* about 24 in height

      *There's a margin of error in length because it's handmade.

      Tip: The height of the taiko can be adjusted by using the stand.

      Taiko Height and Stand

      In the modern taiko performance, 1.4 shaku, 1.5 shaku and 1.6 shaku sized nagado are mostly used. If you want to play the nagado daiko with other players at the same time, we recommend you to use 1.5 shaku or larger nagado daiko.


      Maintenance of Taiko

      Do you know how to maintain taiko? See also this article. 

      Maintenance of Taiko 


      Types and Material of Bachi

      Are you looking for bachi sticks for these? See also this article. 

      Types and Material of Bachi 

       

      😚Thank you for reading this to the end. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments😉

      9 Most Popular Types of Taiko

      9 Most Popular Types of Taiko

      1. Nagado Daiko

      2. Hirado Daiko

      3. Odaiko

      4. Ohira Daiko

      5. Shime Daiko (Tsuke Shime Daiko)

      6. Shime Daiko

      7. Katsugi Oke Daiko

      8. Okedo Daiko

      9. Ojime Daiko

      Byo Uchi Daiko & Shime Daiko

      Types of Taiko

      There are many kinds of taiko drums, but they are roughly divided into two types. One is taiko with nailed heads, called byo uchi daiko. The other is taiko with heads stretched over steel ring and tensioned by ropes or bolts, called shime daiko. byo uchi daiko includes the most famous nagado daiko (also called miya daiko) and hira daiko, which has a shorter body. Usually, the word shime daiko refers to shime daiko that has a short body, used for accompaniment. shime daiko with a long body is especially called okedo daiko.

      Byo Uchi Daiko

      1. Nagado Daiko

      Nagado Daiko

      Nagado daiko is the most popular type of the taiko. A word, nagado means long body in Japanese. It's also called miya daiko because it's played in Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple. A, word, miya often refers to the Shinto shrine. In Japanese Shinto festivals, it's often played with the shime daiko and called odaiko (big taiko) compared to the small shime daiko. The sound produced is low, loud and deep and hears DON. There are various playing styles and special stands for them.

      See Taiko Center's Nagado Daiko

      2. Hirado Daiko

      Hirado Daiko

      Hirado daiko has a thinner body than nagado daiko. A word, hira means flat in Japanese. The structure of the hirado daiko is same with the nagado daiko's. So it's smaller and has relatively lower price than nagado daiko, it is recommended to the person who needs many taiko. The sound produced is low and light. It's often set on the stand in the taiko performance and hung from the stand in the Japanese folk music.

      See Taiko Center's Hirado Daiko

      3. Odaiko

      Odaiko

      Big nagado daiko is called odaiko (big taiko). Usually, it's bigger than 2-3 shaku size (the head diameter: about 60-90 cm) and too big to be carried by one person. It's played by two players (one player hits one side and another player hits another side). Or, it's played by one player as known as the odaiko solo. The sound produced is low, loud, and deep. It's one of the popular types of the taiko that many taiko players yearn to play someday.

      See Taiko Center's Odaiko

      4. Ohira Daiko

      Ohira Daiko

      Big hirado daiko is called ohira daiko. The powerful look makes the taiko performance great. The sound produced is low, loud, and deep as well as the odaiko. The difference is the length of the taiko body. Compared to the odaiko, the player can make thunderous big taiko sounds more easily due to the body size.

      See Taiko Center's Odaiko

      Shime Daiko

      5. Shime Daiko (Tsuke Shime Daiko)

      Tsuke Shime Daiko

      Shime daiko (tsuke shime daiko) is essential taiko drums for the modern taiko performance as well as the nagado daiko. Unlike the byo uchi daiko, the shime daiko can be tenshioned by the rope and the bolt. The sound produced is high-pitch and clear, and hears TEN. The more the taiko is tenshioned, the higher the pitch of the sound becomes. The thick cowhide is used for the drumhead and it sounds as loud as the nagado daiko does. Usually, it controls the tempo of the taiko ensemble by the high-pitch sounds. It is easier to maintain than byo-uchi daiko because each part can be disassembled. You just replace the broken parts with brand-new one by yourself (byo-uchi daiko needs to be repaired by artisan).

      See Taiko Center's Shime Daiko (Tsuke Shime Daiko)

      6. Shime Daiko

      Shime Daiko

      This shime daiko is often used for the folk performing arts, folk song, the Shinto festival, and the traditional performing arts like noh and kabuki. It's often hung from the stand called teren dai. The drumhead is not as thick as the tsuke shime daiko's. It is tensioned with two ropes: one is used to tension heads and body by putting it through the holes and another is used to wind the rope and add more tension. The sound is more lower & muffled sounds than tsuke shime daiko.

      See Taiko Center's Shime Daiko

      7. Katsugi Oke Daiko

      Katsugi Oke Daiko

      Katsugi oke daiko is a kind of okedo daiko and popular among taiko players. It is made of the light material and the player play it by hanging from his/her shoulder. Due to the lightness, the player can move around while playing it. Because it's not made of the hard material, it shouldn't be played like okedo daiko and nagado daiko. It can be tuned by tensioning and loosening the rope. The sound produced is soft and bouncing, and hears PON. Unlike playing the okedo daiko, playing the katsugi oke daiko is close to playing the shime daiko. So, it can be played in quick tempo, too.

      See Taiko Center's Katsugi Oke Daiko

      8. Okedo Daiko

      Okedo Daiko

      Oke means a tub made of wooden staves in Japanese. The body of the okedo daiko is crafted by the same technique of oke making. The birth place of the okedo daiko is Tohoku region, Northeast Japan. There were a lot of oke craftsmen and the culture of oke has been well established. In the festivals of Tohoku region, the okedo daiko is often used. It can be tuned by tensioning and loosening the rope. Unlike katsugi oke daiko, it is set on the stand and played like nagado daiko. The sound produced is harder than katsugi oke daiko.

      See Taiko Canter's Okedo Daiko

      9. Ojime Daiko

      Ojime Daiko

      Big okedo daiko is called ojime daiko. It is as big as the odaiko but not so heavy. It produces powerful sounds and strong vibration.

      See Taiko Center's Ojime Daiko

      Related Articles

      Material of Taiko

      Which material are these made of? See also this article.

      Material of Taiko


      Size of Taiko

      Which size should I use? See also this article.

      Size of Taiko


      Maintenance of Taiko

      Do you know how to maintain taiko? See also this article.

      Maintenance of Taiko


      Types and Material of Bachi

      Are you looking for bachi sticks for these? See also this article.

      Types and Material of Bachi

      😚Thank you for reading this to the end. Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments😉