Drum TAO

Oita Tao

Drum TAO, a flamboyantly, dynamic drum and dance troupe that has been lauded overseas as ‘Supernaturally fit and superbly trained… Stunning… Fully deserving of the standing ovation that the company receives’. Taiko drumming is a traditional and popular art throughout Japan and Drum TAO is one of its leading and most prolific exponents.

The 30 members of Drum TAO have made their home in the Kuju Highlands west of Taketa since 1995. Here they practice at their own centre, Grandioso, from 5am to 10pm to attune themselves to the strenuous physical demands their artistry demands. Their startlingly energetic, original performances combine Japanese traditions with Korean, Maori and Indonesian influences and include mostly modern compositions created by TAO performers. Taiko drums, great and small, are the troupe's signature instrument but their work also includes the shinobue Japanese bamboo flute, marimba, gongs, and koto harp.

In 2004 and 2005, Drum TAO was a hit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts event, bringing the group to wide international attention. Ever since they have been touring the world with performances in over 500 cities including the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and on Broadway.

Every August, Drum TAO open up the doors to their home in Taketa for over two weeks for their annual TAO Summer Festival. The Drum TAO satellite shop found at Taketa Station is a good first stop to learn more about the group and their activities.

At a glance

One of Japan's most powerful and dynamic entertaiments.

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