Drumming on a legacy


Wadaiko is a traditional Japanese percussion instrument. It is a hollow, cylindrical drum bound by leather on both ends. When the skin is hit by bachi — wooden sticks — the wadaiko produces a sound that is both energetic and exciting. The head of the drum may be fastened to the shell using ropes.

“This instrument has been played in Japan since ancient times,” informs Hiromi Ishioka, President of Akafuji Daiko, a Japanese Musical Group through Binod Ghimire, interpreter and Secretary of Nepal Japan Friendship Society.

There is another smaller drum called sime, which leads the music. The legacy of playing musical instruments was passed from one generation to the other in Japan. “People in my area used to play the drum and I learned by watching when they played,” says Ishioka.

Playing for causes

The drum has become a tool for the Japanese to be together as the family. “To play the drum, we sit together. It brings all the members in the same place. There is more intimacy in the family,” adds Suzuki.

Though the children learned the techniques from their parents, they now outsmart them. “My daughter Aya now corrects me when I do something wrong,” laughs Suzuki.

More and more young people have started playing the drums. Honda Kensuke (13) has been playing the drum for the last three years and he feels that playing the drum gives him energy. It has also given him benefits too. “Friends come to me when I start playing the drum,” he smiles.

He wants to continue it throughout his life. “I don’t think I can live without the drum,” he adds.

Akafuji Daiko will be performing at Yak and Yeti Hotel, Durbar Marg on September 3, 2:00 pm onwards on the occasion of 60th anniversary of Nepal-Japan friendship. Entry is free.