20bTraditional Japanese drums are known as taiko or wadaiko drums. The original concept for the large drums came from China over 1,000 years ago. These first drums were made of slats of wood, but produced an inferior because of the secondary vibrations and loss of energy through the joins in the slats. The Japanese then developed a new manufacturing method to improve the sound. The improved manufacturing method involved the use of a single piece of wood from the trunk of a very large zelkova tree. The larger drums normally use cow hide for the “heads” of the drums.

Toshinori Sakamoto is an accomplished player and teacher of Wadaiko. He has studied under renowned conductor and lead percussionist of the Kumamoto Philharmonic Orchestra, Takashi Fukuda. Toshi was a founding member of the Kumamoto based Wadaiko group, Rindo Daiko and played with them andl he moved to Australia . Since coming to Australia Toshi has performed at Japan Festivals in Melbourne, Sydney, Fiji, the Melbourne International Festival and many group recitals. Toshi performed with Rindo Daiko when they visited Melbourne in November and in October at their own concerts and as part of a world music Festival at Melbourne Town hall. He has visited numerous schools throughout Australia to introduce this highly accessible art form to both primary and secondary students.

Toshi is accompanied by his wife Junko who is also an accomplished Wadaiko player and former member of Rindo Daiko in Kumamoto.

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