Tsuzumi (hand drum) ()

Tsuzumi (hand drum) is a traditional instrument unique to Japan, and refers to Kotsuzumi (small hand drum) in a narrow sense. Both sides of body of Tsuzumi, which is either hourglass-shaped or gasoline drum can-shaped, are covered in leather, and tightly stretched with Shirabeo (a set of ropes used for Kotsuzumi, Otsuzumi [a large hand drum] and Shime-daiko [a rope-tuned drum]).
In Nogaku (the art of Noh) field, a strap is referred to as Shirabeo or as 'shirabe.'
Either both sides or single side of leather parts are beaten by hand (s) or plectrum (s) while adjusting the tone color by tightening or loosing the strap. They are divided into Kotsuzumi, Otsuzumi, Taiko (stick drum), and Kakko Drum by shape. There are two possible explanations for the pronunciation of this word: it is derived from the dudubhi or dudubhi, a percussion instrument from ancient India or it is derived from the dutangu drum (Tsudonko), an instrument from China.

Tsuzumi was generated in India, and after that, various kinds of Tsuzumi; waist drum (Yoko), Ikko drum, Ni no tsuzumi drum, San no tsuzumi drum, Yon no tsuzumi drum, and Joko (stick drum) were derived from it. These drums are collectively referred to as Saiyoko (waist drum contracted in the middle).

The waist drums (Yoko) is a Saiyoko hanging from one's waist, and came down to Japan at the early seventh century. It was used as Kure no tsuzumi (Wu drum) for gigaku (an ancient pantomime in which performers wear masks).

Ikko drum, Ni no tsuzumi drum, San no tsuzumi drum, and Yon no tsuzumi drum came down to Japan for Togaku music in the Nara period.

Afterward, waist drums, Ni no tsuzumi drum, and Yon no tsuzumi drum were died out, and Ikko drum has been used in bugaku (traditional Japanese court music accompanied by dancing) while San no tsuzumi drum is used in Komagaku music. Tsuzumi is also used in sangaku (form of theatre popular in Japan during the 11th to 14th centuries), the popular entertainment which came down from China to Japan. In the "Dankyu Sangaku Zu" (the Dankyu bow with the ink paintings of ancient Chinese performing art of Sangaku) owned by Shoso-in Treasure Repository, the scene that Tsuzumi is beaten by bachi Beaters or hands is depicted.

These various Tsuzumi came down from China, and after a while, Kotsuzumi and Otsuzumi were developed in Japan.

Sticks (bachi Beaters) are used for Joko drum to play, and Joko is characterized by different leather materials that are used on the both sides of its body. The body and leather part of Joko drum vary in diameter. It became larger after it came down to Korean Peninsula.

Originally, it was a rhythm instrument, and enables to produce different tone colors depending on the methods of beating it by hand (s), and freely operating a strap. It greatly influenced the traditional Japanese music after the Medieval and modern period. It is characterized by a call during the performance.

[Original Japanese]