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World Renowned Taiko Drummer to Perform in Tokyo

Have you heard the resounding sound of taiko drumming live?  It is hard to tear your eyes from the athletic drummers as the beat their instruments to create a soulful sound that is reminiscent of a religious chant or a battle cry and is something that you won’t soon forget. 

On September 27th & 28th, world renowned taiko drummer Eitetsu Hayashi will perform at the National Theater of Japan.  A student of taiko music and traditions for over 35 years he has performed throughout Japan and the world, including North America, Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia and Latin America.  He has collaborated with Jazz, Rock and Classical musicians throughout his long and distinguished career which has included a 1984 performance at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra. The history of taiko drumming dates back centuries and it is said that the boundaries of a village were once set by how far the sound of a drum could carry.  The distinctive sound of the drums were used to intimidate the enemy and give courage to samurai in ancient times and were also used to provide the musical accompaniment to Noh and Kabuki dramas.  Eitetsu Hayashi has been instrumental in keeping this ancient art form alive and has brought it to 21st century audiences in new and exciting ways that will ensure its ongoing popularity.

“Any sound has an expression and a sense of color, and you can feel that color if you listen carefully,” says Hayashi in an interview with The Japan Times.   

“In a typical set, Hayashi stands with his legs apart, lowering his hip and bending backward, while striking the face of the taiko, which is covered with cowhide that has been cured and dried. His strength is transmitted to the drum through the sticks carved of hinoki (Japanese cypress). Carved out of a block of a keyaki (Zelkova) tree several hundred years old, Eitetsu’s taiko is larger than the others, measuring 120 cm in diameter.”

Whether or not you can hear the color in the sounds of taiko drumming, the performance is sure to be impressive.

Event Details:

Dates & Times:  September 27th & 28th at 2PM
Location:  National Theater of Japan, Large Theater
Tickets: Tickets (Y4,500 and Y3,500) can be purchased online, at the box office or by telephone.  Call 0570-07-9900 or 03-3230-3000 daily between 10AM and 5PM to reserve your seat by phone. (purchasing guide)
Access: A 5 minute walk from Hanzomon Station or a 10 minute walk from Nagatacho Station (National Theater of Japan Access Information)

Image Credit: Flickr, Taiko Drumming