About Us

The Tasmania University Union Taiko Society was formed in 2002 by Simon Vanyai to create the opportunity to train, perform and teach the Japanese Art of the Drum. In March 2023, we moved away from the University of Tasmania, and became an incorporated not for profit association, now known as Taiko Drum Tasmania Incorporated (Taiko Drum).

Taiko Drum have performed at a wide variety of multicultural events and community festivals around Tasmania including Dark MoFo, The Taste of Tasmania, Point to Pinnacle, the Mother’s Day Classic, Mona Foma, school and community fetes – just to mention a few!

Our group consists of members of all ages, abilities and walks of life. We are friendly, welcoming and social.

We have strong ties to Japan and an ongoing relationship with Japanese taiko masters and groups. We have had wonderful experiences training and performing in Japan, as well as hosting workshops and concerts in Tasmania.

Taiko Drummers with Thylacine statue, at Buckland Gardens.

At Taiko Drum, we encourage our members to experience the thrill of performing as an optional element of their taiko training. Performing enables members to challenge themselves and their nerves in front of an audience, and thus improve and hone their mental and physical skills.

Japanese drumming, known as Taiko, is a visually spectacular art form, which originated in the festivals and rituals of the agricultural society of ancient Japan. Unlike other ‘high-cultural’ art forms such as the Kabuki, Noh Dancing or Tea Ceremony, Taiko culture is community-based, and the most widely practiced ‘popular-cultural’ art form in contemporary Japanese society. It is played as part of local festivals in virtually every district throughout Japan, and local Taiko masters have passed on its techniques orally for many hundreds of years. Most performers at such festivals are non-professional, local residents, and many of them are school children. Taiko plays a strong role in promoting a sense of community, and cultivating teamwork skills among the local residents.

Since the 1950’s Taiko has become internationally recognised as a  performance art, and many contemporary drumming groups have been formed in Japan and in many other countries. There are more than 8,000 Taiko groups in Japan, and many of them conduct international tours.