Taiko (太鼓?) are a broad range of Japanese percussion instruments. Within Japan, the term refers to any kind of drum, but outside Japan, the term is often used to refer to any of the various Japanese drums called wadaiko (和太鼓?) and to the form of ensemble taiko drumming more specifically called kumi-daiko (組太鼓?, lit. “drum collection”).
The tradition of kumi-daiko in Japan, characterized by an ensemble playing on different drums, can be traced back to 1951 through the work of Daihachi Oguchi and has continued with world-renowned groups such as Kodo.
Taiko drums have been incorporated in Japanese theater for rhythmic needs, general atmosphere, and decoration in certain settings.In addition to the instrument itself, the term taiko also refers to the performance itself.