The Laughing Drum

A short film directed by Isaac Carter about Uzume Taiko, Canada’s first professional taiko drumming group. Their name is derived from taiko, the Japanese word for “big drum” and from the goddess of laughter, Ame No Uzume No Mikoto, who according to legend first began taiko drumming. The film gives a taste of the techniques, tools and drive that makes Uzume Taiko unique in the world of taiko.

In an interview while screening his film at Heart of the City Issac Carter explains how The Laughing Drum came to be.

“When I first came to VFS last year we were introduced to the filmmaking process through the documentary course [taught by Instructor Cari Green]. My peers came up with a variety of fascinating topics ranging from mysteries to psychic phenomenon. How I came up with The Laughing Drum is actually quite a personal story, something people don’t just ‘get’ when they watch the film.”

“When I was growing up in a rural town in BC’s interior, I watched a performance by Uzume Taiko (Laughing Drum) in elementary school. I remember being awestruck by the resonance of the drums and the energy that they put into their music!”

“A decade later, I came across their studio in Vancouver while searching for a Taiko drumming group to do a film on. As research and interviews developed, I was amazed at the wealth of information available. Uzume Taiko is the first Canadian Taiko group. They are not only known nationally but they have also performed overseas as well. The name ‘Uzume Taiko’ is refers to the goddess of laughter, and is part of an ancient Japanese legend that is used to inform the audience how the Taiko drum came to be the cultural piece it is today. We tell (and show!) you the legend in the documentary.” - (interview source)