A few weeks back I was out at the Fukagawa Hachiman Festival in Koto-ku, east Tokyo. I wrote a bit about the insane water battle here, but before tens of thousands took to the streets I was able to watch a traditional taiko performance in somewhat calmer surroundings. I always enjoy watching Japanese drumming: it has a hypnotic effect – not only through the sound and rhythm, but also visually, the way the drums are struck. Standing there watching the taiko teams in action brought back memories of when I used to live in Fukuoka many years ago, and I would help out with the Junior High School taiko team on my days off, setting up the drums for their various events. Photos & video below.