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Three nights a week the booms of Japanese drums shake the halls of First United Methodist Church, as eight members of Oberlin College Taiko perform in remarkable synchronicity.

Taiko drummers use large wooden sticks called bachi to hit their taiko, which means drum in Japanese.

Faced with adversity, many Japanese Americans began to practice taiko in an attempt to build community and reconnect with their culture after years of repression and assimilation.

Wong sees taiko as a means for Asian Americans to explore and share their vast cultural history.

“Taiko is fun and exciting, and most of all, it’s empowering,” Wong wrote in an email to the Review.

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