Where can I buy some taiko drums?

I recently received an inquiry as to how much a "moderately priced" taiko would cost. I've been looking into this a bit myself lately, since we are preparing economically (as well as mentally) for purchasing our own taiko drums in just a couple of weeks. We plan to get the drums at Asano Taiko's 400th Anniversary sale in a couple weeks. It is a rare opportunity to get top of the line Asano drums at prices 10 - 30% off the regular prices. Still, it will probably cost almost as much as a college education and we are really starting to feel the mental weight of this decision. It's kind of like a point of no return. Once we have invested this much money in this project, we had better follow through with it. It sure is feeding the worries and doubts in the back of my head, though. More on that another time.

Anyhow, I thought several people out there could be interested in the answer to the question about the cost of taiko drums, so I will share my response.

***** My Response (with some edits) *****

The best taiko drums money can buy are made by Asano Taiko and for your average sized Nagado Taiko (about 17 in. (42 cm) diameter) you are talking about nearly $5000.

Asano does make a "education" line of drums, which are slightly cheaper http://www.asano.jp/wa-taiko/kyouzai/post_1.html#more
For the same size nagado from that group, it is about $4000.
Those prices only include the drum, no case, no stand, etc. Shipping within Japan would be included in the price, but I doubt international shipping costs are in that price. Getting the drum from Japan to the US would have to be covered on your own.

Most people probably cannot travel to Japan to buy drums. I do believe you can get Asano drums through the Rolling Thunder Taiko Website

Although Asano drums receive my highest recommendation, unfortunately they are not a realistic option for most taikoists in the US (other than perhaps a shime taiko, which is small enough to take home on the plane with you and only costs around $2000.) So in the interest of providing some practical info, here are several "home grown" options available in the US (in no particular order):

Miyoshi Taiko based in Northern CA
Nagado starting at about $1000 for a 12 in diameter

Mochizuki Taiko
Based in Texas
ca. 18 in diameter Nagado - $3500 (Free Shipping)

Colorado based taiko maker
16 in diameter nagado taiko $1,150

Carrie from the All Things Taiko Blog is full of useful information, and in a recent post, she introduced Kato Taiko, another N. American taiko maker, who will also be in attendance at the North American Taiko Conference, this August.

Kato Taiko
Another CA based taiko maker
I learned about from a recent post on the All Things Taiko Blog
16 in Nagado $900 - $1000

Finally, a lot of people in the US like to make their own taiko using wine barrels, whiskey barrels, even old tires and duct tape can create a practice drum. Carrie, from All Things Taiko, was kind enough to share some info and resources for those who are interested in making their own taiko drums (like I said, full of useful info) Here are her comments left on our blog post, "Taiko Drums Cost How Much!?"

"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."


If you live in the US, are looking for a place to purchase taiko drums and have a few thousand dollars to spend, I hope this info gives you a place to start. I would imagine there are more places out there selling taiko drums. If any of my readers know of any, or if you make and sell taiko yourself, please feel free to leave the info in a comment.


Anonymous said...

In Washington, there's http://www.worldsphere.net/

Carrie said...

And this website has information on building your own oke daiko: http://members.cox.net/drum/okedo01.htm

Raion Taiko said...

A tip from an email from Eileen of MuDaiko in Minnesota:
"I was prompted to write you immediately when I saw your current blog entry regarding taiko drums. I am sure that nothing beats an Asano drum for you, but I would like to tell you about the primary drum source for Mu Daiko. Almost all of our wooden taiko (shime, chu, odaiko) are made locally by the artisans at MN Taiko. Please see their website at http://www.mntaiko.com to find out more about their offerings. Purchasing and shipping from them in Minnesota might be an affordable option for some portion of your drum inventory (they are certainly performance quality). We also use these taiko for our classes, along with some hide-over-pvc cylinder drums."

Anonymous said...

Do you know where parankus can be purchased?

Anonymous said...

Do you know where parankus can be purchased?

Raion Taiko said...

Sorry, I don't know. In fact, I had to look up what a paranku is. It is used in Okinawan taiko, right? Anyone else out there know where to get a paranku?