In 1973, Toshi Kato came to America expecting greater exposure to its music. After 13 years of living in San Francisco, he moved to Concord located 30 miles away from San Francisco. In 1993, he was introduced to San Francisco Taiko Dojo through a friend and began taking his son and daughter to practices. At the same time, Concord's own taiko group, Shinmu Taiko was established. They didn't have anything to start off with and so began building their own taiko. After this, he started building taiko for friends and for Kagami-kai, a rice pounding volunteer group. In 2003 he held a booth to sell taiko at the 2003 Taiko Conference, which propelled his taiko business.
In Japan, taiko drums are generally made by carving a large single piece of wood, which takes a long time to make and is very expensive. Most Kato Taiko drums are made from recycled wine barrels, making it much more affordable.
Each barrel is carefully selected to make sure the wood is stable. The barrel is then taken apart, and biscuit joints are placed along each stave to ensure a strong body. After the biscuits have been placed, the barrel is then assembled. Each piece of stave is joined together beautifully so that the lines are almost invisible. Kato Taiko is dedicated to creating taiko drums with powerful and beautiful tones.
All products below are made to order. Please contact us if you are interested in making a purchase!