shi/yon - equals numeral 4 (four).
shichi/nana - equals numeral 7 (seven).
Shime-daiko - General term for a rope-tensioned drum (now sometimes bolt or turnbuckle tensioned as well). Also
specifically refers to small rope tuned drums often used in Noh, Kabuki, Hayashi, Kumi-daiko, etc. Shime
-daiko have two heads which are sewn over steel rings and laced to a kuri-nuki body with a rope called the
shirabeo. It is tensioned with a second rope called the ueshirabe that is wound around the lacings of the
first rope. These shime-daiko are sometimes just called “taiko” or “wadaiko”, and have relatively thin
heads, often with a circular patch of deer skin in the middle of the head. Shime-daiko used for folk music
and kumi-daiko are called tsukeshime-daiko; they are usually much heavier, have thicker skin, and are
capable of being tensioned to a very high pitch. See also Tsukeshime-daiko.
Shinobue - Also known as fue, hayashi-bue, takebue or yokobue. Bamboo transverse flute. See fue.
Shishi-daiko - A type of short okedo-daiko used in Shishi Odori. Usually lacquered black.
Shishi Gashira - carved wooden mask of a stylized lion's head used in Shishi mai. Often used in male/female pairs, with the
female mask typically being 1 sun (3cm) larger than the male. The male is called Uzu, and the female is
called Gonkuro. Uzu can be recognized by a prominent ridge on top of his head. The masks are usually
lacquered in vermilion or gold.
Shishi Mai -- Traditional Lion Dance. This dance, the roots of which are in China, has an incredible amount of regional
variations. The dancer, usually accompanied by taiko and fue, is hidden by a cape (tanmono) attached to
the shi shi gashira, which is held in the dancer’s hands.
Shishi Odori - Traditional Deer Dance. There are many regional variations of this dance. The dancer usually plays a drum
hung from the waist while dancing. The dancer usually wears some sort of deer mask, and sometimes
supports long bamboo rods that are strapped to the back and slapped on the ground with a quick bend of
Sho - A mouth organ with many pipes and reeds based on the Chinese sheng. The reeds are similar to a harmonica in that
they can be sounded by inhaling and exhaling. Used in Gagaku.
Shooko - A type of kane used in gagaku. Similar in shape to atarigane, but larger and suspended vertically in an ornate
stand. Played with two thin sticks with bead shaped tips.
Shumoku - Also shimoku. Deer horn mallet used to play the Atarigane.
Sugi - Japanese cedar wood. Used for okedo-daiko bodies.
Sumo-daiko - Small nagado-style taiko used for performing before and after sumo wrestling matches. They are played
with long bamboo sticks, and have a characteristic high, taut sound. While lacquered and gold leafed
versions are used for sumo, unadorned versions have found their way into kumi-daiko.
Sun - Traditional Japanese measure. 10 sun make one shaku. Subdivided into 10 units called bu. Roughly equivalent to
3cm in the kana system. See also shaku.
Suwari-dai - Literally, “seated stand”. A low stand used to hold a shime-diko at a slight angle. Used while playing the shime
-daiko from a seated position. Typically refers to a stand made from bent iron rods used to hold heavier
Suzu - A bell similar to a jingle bell. Also see kagura suza.
Tabi -- Split toed socks worn with Japanese dress, such as kimono. Tabi with rubber soles are known as Jika-tabi. Tabi are
usually either white, black or a very dark navy blue. They are measured not only in centimeters for length, but also
in number of hazuse (clasps/hooks and eye closures) that close the tabi around the ankle. Tabi with four, five and
seven clasps are common. Favored foot ware for many taiko groups.
Tachi-dai -- A upright stand used to hold a shime-daiko at a slight angle at waist level.
Taiko -- General term for Japanese drums. Specifically refers to the shime-daiko used in classical Japanese music. Also
used to refer to the Kumi-daiko style of taiko drumming.
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