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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Name-CRT: Japanese
Title: O-Daiko
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1870
Creation End Date: 1874
Creation Date: ca. 1872
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Membranophone/double-headed
Materials and Techniques: Wood, metal, cloisonné, hide, silk, padding
Dimensions: H. 62 1/4 in. (158 cm); L. of drum 22 in. (53 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 89.4.1236
Credit Line: The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889

A barrel drum is played in temples and theater orchestras and at festivals. This unusually ornate o-daiko, with its cloisonné enamel stand and body, was made by order of the Japanese government for the Vienna Exposition of 1873. The drum's cowhide skins, decorated with lacquerwork dragons, were meant to be beaten with sticks. This drum, however, was never sounded. Instead, it was made, as suggested by a rooster atop the drum, as a symbol of peace. An ancient story tells of a drum placed near a village gate for the purpose of sounding an alarm during an attack. As the years passed, the drum was never used. Hens and roosters began to live in the drum's hollow shell, and such an image became an emblem of contentment and peace.

AMICA ID: MMA_.89.4.1236
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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