Drummer Kuidaore Taro returns to Dotonbori

OSAKA (Kyodo) The mechanical drummer Kuidaore Taro, a symbol of Osaka, has returned to the city’s Dotonbori area, ending its one-year odyssey following the closure of the restaurant where it once stood guard.

The life-size drummer was installed in front of a commercial complex that opened Sunday near the former Cui-daore restaurant in Dotonbori.

“Dotonbori’s popularity has been restored thanks to Taro,” Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto said at the opening ceremony. “I’d like to boost this momentum together with you.”

Kuidaore Taro was placed in front of the restaurant in 1950 and became a local landmark. Osaka is known as the city of “kuidaore,” meaning “to ruin oneself by eating and drinking to excess.”

After the restaurant closed in July 2008, Kuidaore Taro was loaned out for events across the nation.

Though Kuidaore Taro has found a permanent home, the drummer can still be sent out for events, during which a “younger brother,” Kuidaore Jiro, will be placed in front of the commercial complex.