About NATC

The North American Taiko Conference (NATC) is a biennial event sponsored by the Taiko Community Alliance (TCA). Started in 1997, the conference was first held in Los Angeles, hosted by the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, with the mission of supporting the growth of taiko in North America. NATC has become a central element of the taiko community, with workshops and discussion sessions for players of all levels. NATC also features public performances featuring a wide variety of taiko groups. NATC is attended by virtually all of the taiko community’s leaders, along with hundreds of players from around the world.

NATC has alternated between Los Angeles Japantown and other West Coast locations, and has been held at Sacramento State University, the University of Washington, Stanford University, and the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

The 2017 North American Taiko Conference will be held at the University of California, San Diego

NATC Goals

• Build a community of taiko groups in North America
• Share traditions and repertoire
• Support the artistic development of the art-form
• Document North American taiko history

NATC Conference Coordinator:

Terry Nguyen (terry@taikocommunityalliance.org)

TCA NATC Committee:

Stan Shikuma, Seattle Kokon Taiko – Co Chair
Johnny Mori, Kinnara Taiko – Co Chair

Derek Oye, Kinnara Taiko
Elise Fujimoto, Jun Daiko
Rome Hamner
Alan Okada, Soh Daiko
Toni Yagami, Taiko with Toni
Stuart Paton, Burlington Taiko
Diana Wu, Naruwan Taiko
Gene Sugano, Korabo Taiko
Jennifer Caballero, Las Vegas Kaminari Taiko
Dan Kubo, Ballico Taiko
Mark H Rooney, Mark H Taiko/Kizuna
Heidi Varian, San Francisco Taiko Dojo


San Diego Taiko
Naruwan Taiko
La Jolla Taiko
Ohana Taiko of the Taiwanese American Community Center
Shokenji Taiko of Vista Buddhist Temple
Buddhist Temple of San Diego
Asayake Taiko of UCSD
Genbu Daiko


“Taiko” is the Japanese word for drum. In an English context, taiko is used to refer to the art-form of ensemble Japanese drumming, more technically called kumidaiko. Although the drums have existed for thousands of years and are part of a wide variety of Japanese cultural, religious, and musical traditions, use of the drums as the focus of the ensemble emerged in the early 1950′s. Osuwa Daiko, formed by jazz drummer Daihachi Oguchi, is generally considered to be the first kumidaiko (ensemble taiko) group, and the art-form spread quickly throughout Japan. In the United States, San Francisco Taiko Dojo was formed in 1968, followed soon after by Kinnara Taiko in Los Angeles, and then San Jose Taiko. There are now hundreds of community, university, youth, and professional groups around the world.


Learn More about Taiko Community Alliance (TCA)