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date: 18 November 2019


  • David W. Hughes
  • , revised by Henry Johnson


Double-headed drum of the Amami Islands and Okinawa, Japan. The pronunciation of the same character in mainland Japan is tsuzumi (‘hourglass drum’), but chijin generally refers to a small shallow barrel drum played by dancers in certain group ritual dances and as accompaniment to songs and during festivals. Hourglass drums, namely the ōtsuzumi and the kotsuzumi, spread at least to Okinawa’s Yaeyama archipelago as a part of the instrumental ensemble, but were there called ufudō (‘large body’) and kudō (‘small body’). In Okinawa, the chijin has its two drumheads tacked to the body. Also called tidimi, tsuzun, and taiko, in Amami, the chijin in this context is about 20 to 29 cm in diameter and 13 cm deep, and the animal hair, made of cow, horse, or goat, is often left on the heads. The lashed heads do not extend beyond the body as on the shimedaiko, and the lashings are tightened by driving around 14 to 20 small wooden wedges under them around a groove in the circumference of the wooden body, a feature unique to this drum in Japan. The player often holds the side of the instrument in one hand with the heads almost vertical, while striking one head with a single, long wooden beater held in the other hand....

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