Taiko is the Japanese word for “great drum”.

This ancient musical artform originated centuries ago in Asia. The resounding beat of the massive drums, ranging from one foot to six feet in diameter, could be heard over great distances and historically was used as a means of communication.

Taiko could be used to signal distant villages, such as to warn of the approach of an advancing enemy or an impending disaster; or to signal troops on the battlefield. In shrines and temples throughout present-day Japan, taiko can still be heard, although today its purpose is more spiritual and celebratory, often occasioned by village festivals. Only in the last 60 years in Japan and the last approximately 45 years in North America has taiko evolved into a powerful performing art.

Fushicho Daiko is Arizona’s premier and longest running professional performing taiko group. Through their performances, workshops, residencies, and regularly scheduled classes taiko is alive and well in the Southwest. Fushicho Daiko and its members are Arizona Commission on the Arts roster artists.



Taiko is being able to forget everything else in your life and focusing only on the music. Taiko is feeling the beads of sweat dribble down your forehead as you practice a rhythm over and over again. Taiko is that feeling of success when you nail a difficult piece. Taiko is the reward of embracing a challenge and overcoming it with pride.


Taiko is finding a new love for music, for unlocking a part of your heart and soul you previously didn't know existed. Taiko is wrapping yourself up in the beat of the drum, of needing to feel the bachi in the grip of your palm. Taiko is yearning to know every song and to play them faithfully to honor their rich history. Taiko is the smile that spreads across your lips every time you hear 'don doko don'.


Taiko is the laughter of your teammates as you dance around the drums. Taiko is reaching into the past to perform something in the here and now. Taiko is transcending across culture and time and gaining a new sense of appreciation. Taiko is the enrichment of the world by the new friendships that are formed. Taiko is the breaker of barriers between age, race, gender, and abilities.