The beat goes on

Taiko Kauai put on a brilliant performance at the Lawai International Center as part of the program for the 17th annual Pilgrimage of Compassion on Sunday.

The 500 or so spectators were delighted, giving the foursome of Ray and Diane Nitta, Jill Bushinsky and Keith Arakaki a round of applause.

No doubt, they were inspired by what they saw, what they heard, what they felt.

Besides making beautiful music on drums big and small, there are many benefits of taiko drumming — physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Discipline, creativity, rhythm, are all part of taiko, which in Japanese means drum.

The Nittas, Bushinsky and Arakaki got in a tough workout, too. They stood, they kneeled, they sat, jumped and squatted, all while keeping the powerful beat. These folks are clearly in top shape to maintain the level of intensity throughout the 20-minute performance. They’re slim, toned and strong.

They pounded, they grimaced, they grinned and they waved their arms high and low.

If taiko drums come across as powerful, that’s because they are, in ways you might not know.

“The rumbling power of the taiko has also been long been associated with the gods, and has been appropriated by the religions of Japan,” according to

If you get a chance try taiko drumming, to do. You’ll likely improve your cardio, your endurance and your leg and arms strength. And, best of all, you’re going to have a heckuva lot of fun.


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