Literlly taiko means a big drum. We use this word also to indicate the drumming itself. Everyone can drum but that's not necessarily the same thing as taiko... Real taiko is a way of being, of life, a spiritual way. You drum with your body, mind and spirit. It's not only music you hear but you can also see powerful movements and you can feel the deep sounds of taiko in your entire body. It's not clear when exactly taiko was invented but it's a fact that it has been for centuries an important communication tool in Japansese life and culture. The taiko drum has such a carrying sound that is was said that the it could even reach to village's borders. So it's no surprise that the taiko has such an important role in society, as an instrument and as a communication tool. It was used to gather the villagers, to warn them for oncoming danger. Samurai took the taiko to the battles and messages were translated into a musical pattern and sent everywhere. Farmers used it to wake the rain god or to chase away evil spirits. In villages near the sea the taiko was used to let the fishermen find their way back home. Also during festivities people danced on the music of the taiko. Today in Japan the Taiko is only used during religious ceremonies to honour the ancesters, during village festivities , in the classical theatre..