Taikodai are the floats that carry Japanese drums called taiko. The taiko drums are put inside the taikodai and are carried around. Big Taikodai can be carried by about 150 people. The bigger Taikodai are just over 5 meters high and can weigh over 2 tonnes. Taikodai’s belong to varies block associations which pay and maintain them. When they go to the Taikodai festival they represent their block association. Taikodai are not found all over Japan but only in certain parts, such as parts of Shikoku, Kyushu, and Western Japan.

Taikodai are broken down into various parts that all have important meanings. The top is called the tenmaku and is said to represent the universe. There is also a red and white coloured dome at the top and the colours represent the brightness of the sun.The big rope knots are called kukuri and represent clouds. With the clouds there is rain and the big tassels called fusa are the rain. TheTaikodai is held together with four big supports called shihonbashira and represent North, South, East and West.

Taikodai are decorated with gold and contain many different types of patters and pictures.

The most common is that of a dragon which you can see in the pictures in this article.

To see a video of Taikodai in action click the link or picture below.

The video is from The March 27, 2005 Kannonji City Taikodai Fesival in Kagawa Prefecture on Shikoku. There were 40 Taikodais there. Enjoy!