The first historical evidence of taiko drums in Japan is a clay figure from the 7th century, but it is believed that the first drums were brought to Japan from China during the Yayoi period (500 BC - 300 AD). In time, both the music and the instruments evolved, becoming something specific to Japan (although similarities still exist with the Chinese instruments).
Taiko was originally used in Buddhist and Shinto ceremonies and in the past only men were allowed to play the taiko, and only with special permission from the priests… Today there are many women playing, and the new tradition continues - I have seen many times little girls learning the art of taiko, like in this photo from Tsukiji:
Little Taiko Drummers, Tsukiji Hongwan-ji Temple, Tokyo
Photo participating to Travel Photo Thursday
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: Shinjuku Shopping District