It’s not often you get to hear live performances of traditional Japanese instruments, but when you do, you realize how much you’ve been missing out.

One instrument that is mesmerizing both live and on video is the taiko, a traditional Japanese drum with limitless rhythmic possibilities. Fortunately for us, there are still many musical performers who are masters of this instrument. Take Kodō, for example.

Based on Sado Island, Japan, Kodō is a professional taiko drumming group that tours all over Japan, Europe, and the United States. They have had a key role in popularizing taiko in Japan and other countries, and still tour regularly to fascinate more audiences every year. In 2001, they even became the first Japanese artists to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway.

The word Kodō has two meanings. It can mean “heartbeat, the primal source of all rhythm.” It can also mean “children of the drum,” reflecting the group’s desire to play the drums with the pure and simple heart of a child.

If you want to know more, visit their website for their current whereabouts!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.