Big Drum: Taiko in the United States

July 14, 2005 through January 8, 2006

With its thunderous rhythms and energetic movements, taiko is a powerful and enormously popular style of group drumming.

In Japanese, the word taiko translates as "big drum" or "fat drum." While drumming has always been a part of Japanese and Japanese American culture, it was not until the latter part of the twentieth century that taiko evolved into the ensemble form practiced and performed today. The pioneering American taiko groups were formed in California during the social and political tumult of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today, there are hundreds of groups throughout North America and Hawai'i.

Big Drum: Taiko in the United States is the first major museum exhibition about taiko in America. Through media arts pieces, artifacts, photographs, and artwork, the exhibition explores how the development of taiko in this country reflects the resilience of cultural traditions, the historical journeys of Japanese Americans, and the cultivation of new diverse communities.

Visit the Big Drum: Taiko in the United States site for additional public programs, photographs, articles, the taiko database, and more exhibition information. There will be additional photographs and content added throughout the run of the exhibition, so keep checking back!

Big Drum: Taiko in the United States is made possible, in part, by the support of The Boeing Company; City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department; Hisako Nerio Imamura & Akira Imamura; Sumi Nerio Leonard & Robert J. Leonard; National Endowment for the Arts; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California; The James Irvine Foundation; Mitsubishi International Corporation Foundation; Prudential Financial, Inc.; Asian Cultural Council; and REMO, Inc. Media Sponsors are KSCI-TV and The Rafu Shimpo.

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