Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Girls weekend in KagaOnsen, Part 3. Playing taiko drums!

I thought the drag dancing show was enough crazy Japanese "cultural" drama for one day but nooooo. As we were heading back to our room when we heard the boom of taiko drums the hotel lobby. The word "taiko" means drum in Japanese, and "wa" stands for Japanese so I guess 'wa-daiko' (和太鼓) is probably more appropriate.

I first saw a wadaiko drum performance at the Hyakumangoku festival in Kanazawa back in June. It was so powerful, I was almost mesmerised and I SO wanted to have a go. The drummers (even the women) look so cool and hardcore, bandanna's, matching jackets and those cool split toe socks.

Anyway, I digress. This group of 3 drummers and a flutist were simply amazing. See my video below (although it still doesn't do it justice.)

After the show, they asked if anyone wanted to give it a try. Well Yoko immediately started nudging me to go up which got their attention so they invited me on "stage" to play. All I had to do was strike the drum with a wooden stick called the bachi (桴, 枹) to a simple rhythm whilst the other lady played some more complex rhythm on the other side of the drum. Well I swear it sounded professional! I was so proud. I then got it a bit carried away trying to play 2 drums at a time and lost the rhythm.

Me playing taiko with audience in the background....

At the end I bowed to the all Japanese audience gathered in the lobby, said "arigato gozaimasu" (thanks) and got a (non-standing) applause. Not bad for a beginner ey?

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