In comparing and understanding the many different taiko groups and styles that exist currently, two distinct styles should be recognized.
The traditional Japanese taiko style can seen practiced in a Dojo with a single leader and/or teacher and a hierarchy of teaching and development. The emphasis is between the individual player and the taiko with a goal of self-actualization. The taiko player uses the bachi, taiko, and his own power or “ki“ to create the taiko sound and energy.
The newer Buddhist taiko style can be described as a group effort of taiko players working towards creating harmony with their drums and each other. Buddhist Taiko can also be described as “kumi-daiko” or taiko ensemble playing. The emphasis is on group harmony and shared development. This style is prevalent with groups based in Temple and other religious settings.
Togen Daiko emphasizes Buddhist Taiko as its preferred taiko style. This allows all of its members to become more involved in the development of each piece and to determine its performance form. It also allows its members to learn from other taiko groups and workshops and to bring back individual experiences to share with the group.