A History of Collegiate Taiko

Though taiko drumming has existed in Japan for over a thousand years, taiko drumming in the U.S. is a much more recent phenomenon. It was only in 1968, with the founding of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo by Grandmaster Seiichi Tanaka that taiko began emerging in the United States. Since then, the artform has spread throughout the country, with hundreds of groups studying the way of taiko from coast to coast.

It would be another 20 years before the very first collegiate taiko group was founded. In 1990, Mark Honda created Kyodo Taiko as part of the University of California, Los Angeles' Nikkei Student Union. In the years since, more and more groups have been started at colleges across the country.

In 1995, Stanford Taiko hosted the very first Intercollegiate Taiko Invitationals, bringing together a host of collegiate groups for a weekend of performances and workshops with taiko professionals. Intercollegiate Taiko Invitationals has gone on to become an annual event, hosted by a different school each year.

Collegiate collage