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Drumming Asian America – Taiko, Performance, and Cultural Politics - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Drumming Asian America: Taiko, Performance, and Cultural Politics

Angela K. Ahlgren


With its dynamic choreographies and booming drumbeats, taiko has gained worldwide popularity since its emergence in 1950s Japan. Harnessed by Japanese Americans in the late 1960s, taiko’s sonic largesse and buoyant energy challenged stereotypical images of Asians in America as either model minorities or sinister foreigners. While the majority of North American taiko players are Asian American, more than four hundred groups now exist across the United States and Canada, and these groups are comprised of people from a variety of racial and ethnic identities. Using ethnographic and historical app ... More

Keywords: taiko, Asian American, drumming, performance, race, gender, sexuality, embodied, ethnography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780199374014
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199374014.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Angela K. Ahlgren, author
Assistant Professor of Theater History, Bowling Green State University