Korabo Taiko


Akiko’s Taiko Project

In October 2012, initiated by Karen Young of Genki Spark (Boston, MA), Korabo’s Dave engaged in a conversation with Akiko Uchiyama, a high school teacher in New City (New York) about building a set of drums for her taiko club, Mugen. Akiko received a grant to go towards some drums and stands.

Akiko and Dave went through a volley of emails in order to determine how many taiko Akiko’s budget could afford and what look and dimensions Akiko wanted out of her taiko. Their final decision was two nagadodaiko and one shimedaiko.

Instead of ordering re-appropriated wine casks as we have in the past for Korabo’s very own original eight nagadodaiko, Dave wanted to make “composite stave” taiko from scratch. To do so, we constructed each individual stave, beveled them, and then glued all of the staves together.

Then we had to mount and turn each taiko body on a lathe. Korabo purchased a lathe from retired taiko-maker Keith Hicks a couple of years ago. Dave needed to re-tool the lathe in order to accommodate the large-diameter shells we would be turning. In the end, with the exception of the motor, Dave completely rebuilt the lathe.

It took the efforts of all of Korabo’s members to make this project a success. Warm thanks to all of our members!


For more pictures, check out our Flickr sets:

Otsukaresama deshita!

Shimedaiko specs
shell wood: lacewood
shell stain: Minwax Polyshades Pecan Gloss
shell diameter: 10”
shell height: 7.5”
ring material: steel tube
ring diameter: 14.5”
ring gauge: 0.5”
skin: cow hide
rope: purple 100% polyester, ⅜-inch gauge

Nagadodaiko specs
wood: red oak
stain: Minwax Polyshades Bombay Mahogany Gloss
fuchi diameter: 18”
body height: 22”
skin: bull hide
tacks: 6-bu