Taiko, Japanese drum, has been found in Japan amongst the relics from the B.C. periods. Throughout its history, Taiko has been playing an important role as a musical instrument. Recently, in addition to its role as a traditional instrument, new works have been composed and Taiko has established itself as a unique music genre.
In 1979, a strong rising desire to create a federation to promote Taiko and to foster friendships among Taiko players all over Japan resulted in the establishment of the natin-wide private volunteer organization.
In November 1997, with Taiko players' fervent wishes, Nippon Taiko Foundation was officially established, replacing the original Nippon Taiko Federation, to further promote Japanese traditional Taiko culture both domestically and internationally. The establishment was made possible by the generous support from The Nippon Foundation.
Nippon Taiko Foundation has been pursuing various activities with the purpose of promoting and preserving the Taiko traditions. With growing recognition and movements in local communities to preserve and to promote their traditional cultural assets, Taiko has been attracting and expanding its population.
Taiko beat is considered to enhance good rhythm in everday living. It is also noted to be effective in training both body and mind. Taiko's strong emphasis on the importance of courtesy and team work is drawing attention to Taiko's role as an important educational instrument.
Taiko population ranges from pre-kindergartners to senior citizens. More recently, there has been increasing number of Taiko groups formed by women. Its is also important to note the birth of Taiko groups by people with disabilities. Such new developments are indicative of the popularity and wide acceptance of Taiko in Japan.
Taiko is also highly appreciated internationally. Taiko performances abroad have been acting as successful tools to introduce Japanese traditional culture as well as to convey the spirit of Japan.
The formation of large number of Taiko teams by foreigh nationals is the proof of world wide interests inTaiko.
Now, there are Taiko Associations in USA, Brazil and Taiwan.
◆ Nippon Taiko Festival
Nippon Taiko Festival is held annually at different locations throughout Japan with the purpose to introduce Taiko to the general public and also to foster friendship among the Taiko groups. The Taiko performers coming from various regions of Japan, present performances reflecting the regional uniqueness.
◆ Nippon Taiko Junior Competition
This nation-wide competition taking place annually is carried out in an effort to encourage the healthy growth of young people and to foster the next generation of Taiko players. Junior performers under the age of 18 selected from prefectural preliminary contests perform at this final competition. The result is based on their technical abilities as well as the discipline.
◆ Nippon Taiko Senior Competition
This competition is held with the purpose to promote Taiko for senior players as well as to hand down their experienced performance to next generations. All the performers are over the age of 60.
◆ Nippon Taiko Charity Concert
Nippon Taiko Foundation joins efforts with different non-profit organizations to host Taiko Charity Concert every year. The entire proceeds from this concert is donated to such non-profit organization.
◆ Handicapped Persons Nippon Taiko Festival
Groups of mentally and/or physically challenged persons using Taiko as a supplementary therapy gather to perform at this festival. At the festival, Taiko experiences of the handicapped persons are exchanged. The art works enhanced by the Taiko therapy are also exhibited.
Training and Educating Taiko Players
◆ Nippon Taiko Courses
Nippon Taiko Seminers are held several times a year in different locations throughout Japan. Anyone regardless of age can take basic to advanced level courses.
◆ Nippon Taiko Official Certification
Taiko Certification was introduced since the establishment of Nippon Taiko Foundation, and the Taiko players are able to measure their accomplishment. Three levels of Taiko Instructor's Certificate and five levels of Taiko Technical Certificate are issued by the Foundation.
Taiko is highly appreciated abroad and welcomed by every country visited. Since the establishment, the Foundation has dispatvhed Taiko member teams to 50 different countries.
Revitalizing Regional Activities
Taiko groups have been actively participating in events sponsored by the national and the local governments such as 'Nagano Winter Olympic 1998' and more recently, events related to the recovery from Northeastern Japan Earthquake Disaster.
Surveys and Researches
Nippon Taiko Foundation conducts basic surveys and studies concerning various aspects of Taiko as an important Japanese traditional culture. The Foundation also collects materials and information related to Taiko for future Taiko library.
Boards of Trustees and Counselors
as of April 2013
||Chairman, Council of Local Government Officials Mutual Aid Association|
|Vice Chairmen||Tadashi Hasegawa||Honorary Chairman, Kyushu Taiko Union|
|Ukichi Takano||Leader, Ukichi Takano and Chichibu shachu|
|President||Kazuko Shiomi||Chairman, Nippon Music Foundation|
|Executive Director||Kazuhiko Osawa|
|Trustees||Motoko Ishii||President, Motoko Ishii Lighting Design Inc.|
|Hisanaga Shimazu||Adviser, Yamashina Institute for Ornithology|
|Yoshiro Nakanishi||Senior Managing Director, Japan Gateball Union|
|Tsuyoshi Yamauchi||Leader, Fugaku Taiko|
|Counselors||Hideo Otake||Adviser, The Nihon Ki-in, Professional Go Player|
|Tomoyuki Okada||Honorary Professor, Senzoku Gakuen College of Music|
|Mutsuo Kawai||Honorary Chairman, Toyama Taiko Federation|
|Hiroshi Kitamura||Former Japanese Ambassador to U.K.|
|Junko Sato||Trustee, The Life Planning Center|
|| Chairman of the Board, Fund Corporation for the Overseas
Development of Japan's ICT and Postal Services
|Makiko Hamada||President, DHC Theater Co.,Ltd.|
|Kunio Furuya||President, Nagano Taiko Federation|
|Yoshimasa Miyazaki||President, Chiba Taiko Federation|
|Auditors||Ken Osanai||Attorney at Law, Osanai Law Firm|
|Yasushi Ikeda||Attorney at Law, Miyake Imai Ikeda Law Office|