OIST presents music of Japan’s national instrument
The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology is presenting a free Koto concert on Saturday, Feb. 27th at OIST Auditorium. The concert begins at 14:00 with doors to the venue opening 30 minutes earlier. Admission to the concert is free, but reservations are required on-line. Registrations are accepted now.
At the concert Hiroe Yamada plays koto and sangen a.k.a. shamisen. Satomi Kurosu plays 17-string koto and Masaya Hasegawa plays shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute.
The koto is the national instrument of Japan. It’s a stringed instrument that originated from the Chinese Zheng. Similar instruments are also played in Mongolia, Korea and Vietnam.
The koto was introduced to Japan from China in the 7th and 8th centuries.
Koto usually has 13 strings that are plucked using three finger picks. The strings are strung over the width of the instrument and each string has a movable bridge. There also is a variant of koto that has 17 strings.