There are many wadaiko manufacturers in Japan, and the manufacturing method varies depending on the region. Here, we will provide an overview of the manufacturing method traditional to the Kansai (Naniwa) region.
The bolt (timber) is cut and dried. The actual work of shaping the wadaiko body is performed over the winter season, when the wood is less likely to crack.
Tamakiri: Based on the thickness of the bolt, the length of the wadaiko is determined, and the bolt is sliced accordingly.
Do-kuri: The sliced bolt is hollowed. The center of the wadaiko body is determined, and the interior is shaped.
The hollowed body is air-dried for at least 5 years, avoiding exposure to direct sunlight.
Using a plane, the exterior of the body is finished.
The head is covered with leather, which is then stretched with a mallet to achieve the desired pitch and tone.
Once the desired pitch and tone has been achieved, the leather is promptly riveted to the body.
The head and the body are given the finishing touches, and the wadaiko is complete.