Hiroshima Taiko Preservation Society International
Hiroshima Taiko Hozonkai was formed in 1964 by members of the Hono Daiko Hozon Kai, a taiko group dedicated to preserving Hiroshima’s oldest taiko rhythm and Jidaiko (indigenous Taiko drum) Dokokai, the local taiko appreciation society, under the direction of the cultural appreciation preservation groups, Tochigai and the Sanshukai representing shrines Sumiyoshi jinja, Ebisu jinja and Tokasan.
the group plays the traditional taiko rhythms of Hiroshima prefecture in western Japan. Most of the tunes are hundreds of years old and played at festivals, events, shrines, public halls, and parks around Hiroshima City itself and in the surrounding towns and villages.
Mr. Itsuki Munakata, the master of Hiroshima Jidaiko
The Founder of Hiroshima Taiko Preservation Society
Winner of Art ethnic culture prize
Received Hiroshima peaceful cultural certificate
Ken Koshio is the first and only person who lives outside of Japan with a certified teaching license as KYOSHI (教師) of Hiroshima Jidaiko (広島地太鼓: indigenous Taiko drum) and Fue(笛) teaches in his dojo (his private studio) in United State as of today.
Here is the list of jidaiko (indigenous Taiko drum) songs:
Higashi no Taiko
Nishi no Taiko
Hono Daiko- dating back over a thousand years, prayers to guardian deities originally played by hermit priests in small mountain shrines. It is played now at festivals and any happy occasion. Of all the pieces, it is the one which best displays the rhythmic synchronization of the group – six or seven taiko players in perfect harmony, led by the deep mellow tones of the conch horn.
Taiko Bayashi- this rhythm has been played at festivals in towns and villages all over the prefecture for at least five hundred years. The high cheerful flute melody expresses the happy relaxed atmosphere of the small farming communities after all the crops have been brought in and the people can slow down and give thanks at the local shrine for a good harvest.
Nicho Daiko- the fue (bamboo flute) melody of this piece was originally an accompaniment to a ceremonial dance performed by the shrine maidens (Miko). The melody would be repeated after the ceremony by the priests. It became part of the folk tradition of Hiroshima by being learned by youths in the audience and played at their own local shrine festivals to impress their friends. The taiko rhythm eventually replaced the dance. It's the only piece in Taiko Hozonkai’s repertoire played on two taikos at once.
Shiki Daiko- the history of this piece is unclear. It is the longest and most complex rhythm the group plays. It represents the four seasons (Shi ki) and was thought to summon the protecting deities. It would therefor be played at any ceremony in which people prayed for good luck in the future. The earth- breaking ceremony for example, to purify and protect new land before beginning construction of a new house or building- a ceremony would be held once the framework of the roof was completed. It would also be played at weddings for good luck.
Kenka Daiko- played in Hiroshima for well over four hundred years. At shrine festivals, groups of taiko players converge on the main shrine to compete for the honor of being able to play the rhythm longer or louder than anyone else. Each group extols the virtues of their own taiko – it's either the oldest or the biggest or the heaviest or the loudest or whatever.
Though the rhythm is quite simple it is by far the most difficult to play because of the standing position which puts enormous pressure on the back and leg muscles. Even the strongest, most experienced players, can only maintain the correct position for a few minutes.
Ebisu Daiko- played at the Ebisu Jinja festival in Hiroshima City in the evening after the ceremonies are over, by anyone who more or less knows the rhythm and wants to join in. The drums and flute summon the seven gods of happiness.
Hiryu Daiko- five hundred years old, it announces the end the three day shrine festival. The Miya daiko rhythm is led by the small high pitched shime daiko and joined by fue, conch horn, and chanchiki- a small dish-shaped hand-held bell played with a mallet.
Let’s help to pass on the Hiroshima Taiko traditions from generation to generation for hundreds of years more!