Kaba - Birchwood. Used for bachi, particularly children's bachi since it is lightweight and strong.
Kabuki -- A style of theater popularized in the 1600’s. Kabuki is marked by an exaggerated style compared to Noh theater,
which preceded and influenced it. While originated by a woman, women were quickly banished from the stage
and now all roles are performed by men.
Kabuki-bayashi -- the music of Kabuki theater. The ensemble itself is called debayashi. Kabuki instrumentation is divided
into onstage and geza (offstage) players. The onstage musicians are in full view of the patrons and
provide the musical accompaniment. The onstage instrumentation includes fue, shamisen, wadaiko
(shime-daiko), kotsuzumi and ootsuzumi. The offstage musicians are backstage and provide sound
effects and mood. See also daibyooshi, tsuchibyooshi, and odaiko.
Kagura suzu - A decorative, hand held bell tree composed of three tiers of jingle bells. The first (top) tier has three bells,
the second tier has five and the lowest tier has seven. The emphasis on odd numbers is a Buddhist
influence, and shows the kagura suzu's religious origin.
Kakegoe - Shouts, vocal calls. Used to accent the music, signal shifts in rhythm, and to encourage other performers.
Kakko - A small, highly ornate, taiko used in Gagaku. Two heads are stitched onto steel rings, and they are then laced to a
slightly rounded, cylindrical body with a cord (oshirabe). Two tensioning cords (koshirabe) are then wound around
the oshirabe. The Kakko is set on a low stand and is played by the ensemble leader. It is played with thin,
hardwood bachi with slightly bulbous tips held in each hand. It's main function is to keep time. It is associated with
the music of the left. Also see ikko, sanko.
Kamae - A stance.
Kan - also kanagu. The ring shaped handles attached to nailed-head taiko.Composed of two parts: Zagane is the
decorative metal plate; Kanamaru is the ring itself.
Kanajyaku – “kana shaku”, one form of the traditional shaku/sun measuring system. One shaku in the kana system is
roughly 30cm. Used to measure taiko as well as used in carpentry. See also kujira shaku, shaku.
Kane - A gong or large bell. Also colloquially referred to as the atarigane.
Kari-bari - a prestretch of a head over the body of a taiko. See also hon-bari.
Kashi - The Japanese oak tree. The hard and dense wood of the white oak tree (shirogashi) is used for making bachi and
Kashu - General term for a singer.
Kata -- Form or style. Literally, it means form or shape. Kata also refers to the way of doing something. In taiko, kata is the
stances and movements for a song or style. For example, the kata for Miyake-daiko is very different from Midare
Kawa --Leather, skin (for drum heads).
Keyaki - The zelkovia tree, which is native to Japan. Grows widely throughout the islands of Honshuu, Shikoku and
Kyuushuu. Used extensively for kuri-nuki-daiko in Japan due to its hard wood and beautiful grain pattern. The
best trees for taiko making are reputed to come from the foot of Mt. Haku as well as the Japan alps. Relative of
the elm family.
Ki -- Your body’s energy or spirit.
Kiai -- A shout used to channel ki. Often used as kakegoe.
Ko-daiko -- A general term referring to a small taiko in the one shaku range.
Koshi - Hips.
Koto -- Japanese zither, usually with 13 strings, although bass and custom versions with more strings are also found.
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