Taiko Drum Master

Taiko no Tatsujin: very Japanese but known out West after its PS2 dip in 2004.

Each player gets a horizontal channel on the screen. Circles slide along and you gotta bop them with fat batons on an authentic drumskin.

Taiko drumming is refined, it’s dignified and it’s humble. It’s an ancient, communal art performed with utmost reverence and attention to tradition.

Taiko no Tatusjin differs in several respects, including all of those just mentioned.

The Japanese seem to have a knack for repurposing tradition in such outlandish ways that the original customs are left intact. Taiko no Tatsujin somehow causes no offence to the traditions of the taiko, since it just does its own thing.

It has its own kind of dignity, you might say, a different type of nobility.


Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people