Experience traditional Japanese music
by learning to play the “koto”!
It would be our pleasure to present a complimentary Koto Experience for our guests who have booked a ten-day or more tour. Sure to be an unforgettable, precious experience!
Wear a Kimono and hear Japanese traditional instruments “Koto” and “Shamisen” in a live ensemble.
You will also take a short Koto lesson before joining the ensemble to play the famous “Sakura Song” together! ♪
What is the “Koto”?
Koto is a string instrument that was introduced from China during the Nara period (710-784). It is long bodied (measuring 180cm) with 13 strings. You play it wearing picks on three fingers of right hand. Koto has been played as a part of Gagaku (Shinto religious music and also ancient imperial court music and dance) orchestra since the Heian period (794 -1185).
Soukyoku, which is a tune mainly played by Koto sometimes with vocals and other instruments, is believed to have been born as an accompaniment of singing, since Koto was used for temple art during the Middle Ages (post Heian period).
During the Edo period (1603-1868), a blind musician named Yatsuhashi Kengyo composed a modern Soukyoku which was the seed of present-day Koto music. Soukyoku is also an origin of Shamisen song “Jiuta” which then was succeed to the followers by another blind musician.
Currently there are two major Ryuha (Schools), which are Ikuta Ryu created by Ikuta Kengyo (1656－1715) and Yamada Ryu which originated from Yamada Kengyo (1757－1817). We belong to and teach the Ikuta Ryu school.
Duration: 90 – 120 minutes
Location : Traditional teahouse in a beautiful Japanese garden , Buddhist temple, Koto & Shamisen Museum, or Noh Theatre.
Meeting Place: You’ll be met by an English speaking guide at your hotel or requested location and transferred by private car.