Buddhist Taiko

In Japanese, the word taiko translates as “big drum” or “fat drum”. The playing of taiko in Japan was a part of folk festivals, religious ceremonies, agricultural rituals, sumo, and Kabuki and Noh performances. In the post-World War II era group or ensemble taiko came into existence.

Daihachi Oguchi, a drummer influenced by Western jazz, is credited with inventing this new group-drumming genre when he founded Osuwa Daiko (1951). This new style of performing, became known as kumi daiko, and was the basis for most taiko performance in the United States.

We play in true respect and deep humility for being given this unique opportunity. we play with great joy! GASSHO.....RAIHAI.

We are Sangha Taiko, sponsored by the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple in Ontario, Oregon.

We consider our group and our play to be an extension of the Three Treasures of the Buddhist Tradition. The Three Treasure are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

The Buddha is the reality that surrounds us. The Dharma is the truths that reveal that reality. The Sangha is we, who listen and awaken to the truth.

American Buddhist Taiko roots can be traced to Kinnara Taiko in Los Angeles, California. Kinnara Taiko was the first kumi- daiko group to be associated with the Buddhist Tradition. Kinnara Taiko was the first group to come out of the Japanese-American community (1970’s).

The playing of the taiko is an expression of horaku (joy or delight of the Dharma).

The powerful sound of the taiko is the compelling voice of Amida Buddha. The voice of compassion and acceptance calls out to each of us, Namo Amida Butsu.

We, the players, are the members of the Sangha. Despite our attachments to this world of birth and death (Samsara), we become enabled to hear the calling voice of Buddha. The sticks, or bachi, used to hit the drums represent the Dharma, the teachings that connect the enlightened realm of the Buddha to the defiled realm of man.

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