- Henry Johnson
Drum of Japan. The term refers to the way it is held: ninai (carry); daiko/taiko (drum). The wooden body, about 40 to 60 cm long and 50 to 80 cm in diameter, is cylindrical or very slightly barrel-shaped, with two cattle-skin heads attached to iron rings and tension ligatures. The drum hangs from a horizontal bar about 2.4 meters long and resembles a small dadaiko, except that the flame decoration sits atop the suspension bar rather than being attached to the drum itself. The bar is carried by two people during gagaku processional music (michigaku). The player walks beside the drum, on its right side, and strikes one head with padded beaters. This type of moving instrument has been known since at least the 9th century. The oldest example is preserved at Atsuta shrine in Aichi prefecture. As with the dadaiko, ninaidaiko are made as a pair, with only one instrument being played at any one time....