Taiko Drums Cost How Much!?

Recently I've been putting more time into the business aspects of starting up this taiko center in Michigan. I'm reading a very insightful book, "The E-myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber for the second time and taking notes. For anyone who is considering starting, or in the midst of running a small business, I would highly recommend it. I've also been spending some time going through the primer courses offered through the Small Business Association website. (Also very helpful for people without much business background)

Anyhow, I was reminded of the importance of putting together a good business plan, so I brushed the dust off my partially completed plan, which I have hardly touched for about a year and started working on it again. I thought I would start with calculating some of the start up costs.

Now, I know, (and I knew) that taiko are expensive, but I don't think I had ever sat down and calculated the total cost in detail, that is, the cost of not only the drums, but of stands, cases and so on. By the way, cases can cost a lot more than you might think. So I compiled a conservative list of what drums we would like to get started and began to add up the cost. In the end, what we want will run around... $80,000! (Any charitable donors out there?) The aspect that does not take into account is shipping the drums from Japan to the US, which, from what I hear, can cost nearly as much as the drums. That is my next on my list of things to research, I guess.

Well, $80,000 is actually a conservative estimate for the drums. It is actually possible that we will end up paying significantly less than that. But even if it is cut in half, that's still $40,000, isn't it. I guess I'll just have to keep putting coins in my piggy bank.


Anonymous said...

You know what I've been doing since 3 years ago? Starting up 500-yen saving, in hopes that I could buy a chu-daiko. The price is really overwhelming ne.

Raion Taiko said...

I just got one of those 500 yen banks about 2 months ago. I've got 18,000 yen in it as of this morning.

Btw, you might be able to find a reasonably priced chu-daiko at Asano's 400th anniversary celebration.

Carrie said...

Are you guys considering making any of your own drums? Most of the supplies can be purchased in the US... then you don't have to pay shipping. Probably ones best purchased in Japan are shime, okedaiko, and o-daiko, but you could make the chus...

Raion Taiko said...

Carrie, you are correct, making our own drums would probably save a lot of money, but Asano drums are oh so different from a wine barrel drum. Once you've played an Asano drum, you realize that they are worth the cost.

Marlene said...


Carrie said...

Yes, I have played Asano drums before and I agree that their quality and sound can be found nowhere else. Just thought I'd mention making your own as a possible starting point. Then the drums you make could be used as additional practice drums once you get all the Asano ones to fit your needs. Good luck!

Raion Taiko said...

Thanks, Carrie. We'll have to keep that in mind. Wine barrels are not in abundance in Michigan, however, so if you know of a place where materials can be purchased, please let me know. In the meantime, we are trying to save enough money by June to buy a couple of shime taiko during the 400th anniversary sale.

Carrie said...

Hi there! I hope your performance went well. I checked with the group in Ohio and the one starting up in Kalamazoo, MI and they both order wine barrels from:

The Barrel Shop, Inc.
570 Napa Junction Road
American Canyon, CA 94503
(707) 553-9807 Phone
(707) 556-9772 Fax

I heard that barrels from The Barrel Shop have tripled in price in the last 5 years (about $400), but the quality is superior.

I found this website I thought would be helpful if you're looking to make a few drums or have more questions: http://users.lmi.net/taikousa/FAQs.html

There are additional options for places to order drums and other supplies from listed at the bottom of that page.

Raion Taiko said...

Thank you Carrie, I'm sure this info will be helpful to anyone who is looking to make taiko drums.