Wadaiko, broadly speaking, refers to the membranophone instruments. In Japanese history, various types of Daiko were used in battle fields, ceremonies, and noh theaters as accompanying percussive instruments. It wasn’t until World War II, that Wadaiko was given different arenas for performances. Perfect presentation of Wadaiko requires not only wrist power but also feet and waist strength.
Ondekoza was established by its founder Dentaga in 1969. Dentaga believed that jogging should be incorporated with musical training. Physical training of marathons gives daiko its inspirational power. He inspired members of Ondekoza with saying, "jogging in place, playing drum in place, and dancing in place." The musical instruments played in Ondekoza focus both on Yin and Yang, and include bamboo flute, shamisen, shakuhachi, and zither. Drums come in various sizes and quantities; the heaviest Daiko has a weight of 700 pounds. While playing, Daiko performers demonstrate a sense of balance, muscle strength and stamina. Daiko symbolizes the fullness of Tai Chi, and conveys the harmonized oriental culture through music and body language. Herbert von Karajan, the contemporary master conductor, commended the performance of Ondekoza as "an extraordinary, magnificent, perfect combination of Daiko and arts", and "a representative of the harmony of life and wisdom."