: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: Culture
Browse Culture Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

Sanshin reflects soul of Okinawa

Date Posted: 2004-02-26

March 4 marks the Sanshin Day in Okinawa (3/4; san = three, shi = four). Often said as the embodiment of the soul of Okinawa, the sanshin is a plucked banjo-like instrument consisting of a long, black-lacquered ebony neck which pierces the top and bottom of an open frame-shaped body covered on both sides with snakeskin. The three strings were formerly made of silk, although tetron is now more commonly used. The strings are plucked by means of a plectrum made of water-buffalo horn.

There are various types of shashin classified in accordance with such features of the neck as the angle of inclination of the head section, the size of the peg box, and the curvature of the base of the neck before it enters the body. Named after their original makers, these include Makabi, Febaru, Chinen-deku, Kuba Shunden, Kuba-nu-funi, Hiranaka-Chinen, and Yunagushiku types.

Although sanshin was originally reserved for the Ryukyuan nobility, the sanshin became the favorite of the commoners during the nineteenth century, and is currently experiencing a sort of renaissance.

It is said that when a fire broke out in a house, the first thing Okinawans rescued was the sanshin whereas in mainland Japan it was the sword. Nevertheless, such is the popularity of the sanshin nowadays that its soulful sounds are incorporated in many contemporary popular tunes.

One of the main events of the Sanshin Day takes place at Yomitan Village Culture Center from 12 to 9 p.m. Admission to the event is free.

Browse Culture Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

OkistyleJU FacebookOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker