Glossary (in progress)

Taiko: The Japanese word for drum.  Can mean both the drum itself and the style of playing the drum.  In Japan, wadaiko is used to differentiate the larger, barrel-sized drum that we refer to as simply taiko.

Chudaiko: The "middle"-sized drum.
Shime(daiko): A small drum; two hubcap-sized heads tied or bolted over a wooden or metal ring.  High pitch.
Odaiko: Literally, "big drum."  The larger-sized drum, sometimes as long as six feet in diameter (or more!)
Okedo: Two heads tied by rope around a cylinder, like the shime, but with a longer body.  See katsugi.
Bachi: Taiko drumsticks.  For the chudaiko, bachi are generally 1"x18".

Tabi: Cloth shoes with a split next to the big toe.  Rubber-soled.
Happi: Japanese coat.  For taiko players, most commonly just past waist-length.
Obi: Long strip of fabric tied around the waist to secure happi.
Hachimaki: Strip of fabric tied around the forehead, used to keep sweat out of the eyes.

Kata: Form.  In taiko, kata refers to the visual component of a group; their style of playing.  In karate, kata refers to a set sequence of movements.
Ki: Energy/spirit.  Too much to describe in a small space, but here are some terms that are often used to describe different aspects of ki: intention, focus, projection, presence, purpose.
Kiai: A focused shout of energy, of varying lengths.  Some uses in taiko are: as a musical component; to encourage the rest of the ensemble/a soloist/oneself; to mark tempo; for expression.
Hara: In Eastern philosophy, the center of being.  Generally located two finger-lengths below the navel, halfway towards the spine.  Generation of ki comes from the hara.

Katsugi: Literally, "to carry."  A very common way of playing okedo, by using a strap around one shoulder and playing one or both heads while being mobile.
Sensei:  Teacher or mentor.  A term of respect, used for actual teachers as well as doctors, figures of authority, and accomplished artists.

North American Taiko: Taiko groups and players within the United States and Canada.  When speaking of NA Taiko, the assumption is that one is also talking about "Japanese-American Taiko", but this is becoming less and less the case.
Japanese-American Taiko: Taiko groups that embody and/or follow the cultural norms and values of the Japanese-American community.  This is a cultural system, and not one of race or religion.
"Professional" Taiko Groups:  Groups that employ full-time performers/staff.  Some groups may have all their performers on payroll; others may only have some members that are paid on contract.  (See: San Jose Taiko, On Ensemble)
Collegiate Taiko Groups:  Groups based out of a particular college.  Most of these groups are affiliated with the college. (See: Stanford Taiko, Jodaiko/UC Irvine)
Buddhist Taiko Groups: Groups where the value system is based on Buddhist teachings; very commonly affiliated with a temple and whose players are members of that temple. (See: Kinnara Taiko, Midwest Buddhist Temple Taiko)