While the island of Sado, home to the Kodo drummers might be the island in Japan most associated with taiko drumming, the island of Hachijo is a lot more historically the island with drumming at the centre of its local culture. Hachijodaiko (or Hachijotaiko) is a unique, improvisational style in which the drum is placed horizontally to allow two players to hit it at the same time. One player provides the shitabiyoshi or underlying beat, while the other plays the improvised, more musical, part (uebiyoshi). Hachijo Taiko Rokuninkai were formed in 1981, and have been performing all over Japan and abroad ever since, while the hachijodaiko style has influenced taiko groups in Japan and around the world.
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