Gojinjo Daiko

“Gojinjo Daiko” is a traditional performance art that originated in Nafunemachi in the city of Wajima. In ancient times, when the armies of Uesugi Kenshin invaded this area, the unarmed villagers put on strange masks and seaweed and played war drums in the night, scaring these forces away. This is said to be the origin of the performance style. The rhythm is structured in three movements (Jo-Ha-Kyu). The deep rumble of the drums seems to echo from deep within the earth, starting out slow (Jo), then grows faster toward the middle (Ha) before suddenly reaching an even faster tempo in the concluding section (Kyu). The distinctive masks, the exaggerated poses used, and the traditional Japanese Jo-Ha-Kyu performing style are the highlights of Gojinjo Daiko, both visually and aurally.