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date: 15 November 2019


  • Henry Johnson


Japanese vessel rattle: suzu (rattle); daiko/taiko (drum). It is also called furitsuzumi, but must not be confused with a different instrument of the same name. While shaped like a double-headed frame drum with heads extending slightly beyond the drum’s body, the suzudaiko is actually a wooden container about 18 cm in diameter and about 5.5 cm deep, enclosing several metal pellets. Holes in the body help emit the sound, and two other holes in the wooden ‘heads’ are for holding it. The heads are usually painted in bright colours and might each have a mitsudomoe (three large comma shapes that form a circle) for decoration. The instrument is usually played in pairs by a dancer holding one in each hand. For instance, in the play Musume Dōjōji (‘A Maiden at Dōjōji’), the kabuki dancer holds a pair of suzudaiko as stage props and beats them against the floor....

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