On our trip to Japan last year, we visited the drum maker Suwakougei in Saitama; A two hour train ride out of Tokyo.
Greeting us on arrival, the friendly staff took us into their display room, and for about 2 hours we communicated in my broken Japanese. Finding all the information we could on the different types of drums they have, what woods they use, skin types, everything!
They took us into their store room, let us measure everything and ask ridiculous questions, like "what kind of candle do you use to tie the shime?". For some reason me mixing the word for rope with candle.
After working with Suwakougei and painstakingly deciding what drums we wanted, we then began the work of oraganising shipping. As great as Suwakougei are, they do not offer international shipping, making it a lot more difficult to get drums from them.
Once leaving Japan we left it to Suwakougei and the shipping company to get the drums on the boat to Wellington.
Finally on March 17th they arrived.
A rented ute, a crate in our driveway, and a ludicrous amount of recycling later. Four new Nagadou daiko with stands, a shime stand, 2x new oke stands, and a tall stand emerged and are ready to be played!