Taiko simply means drum in Japanese, but the term has since evolved in the U.S. to describe the unique sounds of the Japanese drums and the movements the drummers. Taiko has its roots in ancient Japan, where the large drums were used for military and ceremonial purposes. Towards the middle of the 20th century, it was brought to California and Hawaii, where it became more common to use taiko as a means of musical expression and performance. Since then, many have formed community and collegiate groups, a large concentration of them located along the West Coast. Many Americans are first exposed to such groups in college, which is the case for many in Rutsubo Taiko.
Rutsubo means crucible or melting pot in Japanese, and our group represents a melding of different taiko traditions into one. While our futures and ambitions might take us on our own directions, we consider ourselves as a group that is constantly changing and growing. Currently, we are based in downtown Boston, at Shaffee Bacchus-sensei’s Shoshinkan Shinkendo Dojo.