Personal emotional expression is not the goal of traditional Japanese instrumentalists, so they usually sit still in a formal posture and don ’t look at one another as they play. On September 1st, 1923 there was a major earthquake in the Tokyo area (410,000 houses were burned or destroyed). Many foreign countries including the U.S.A. helped the people and government of Japan.The people of Japan were very grateful and so Seifu Yoshida offered a Japanese music concert tour to the U.S. to express Japan ﾕ s gratitude. Also he believed that Japanese music was unique and well worth sharing with westerners.
Sokyoku : Music played with the Koto . The Koto is a zither with 13 strings. Later also accompanied by Shamisen and Shakuhachi.
In 17th centry (Edo era), YATSUHASHI-KENGYO (1614-1685), one of the blind KOTO masters, succeeded in moving KOTO to solo-instrument. Thus he has been known as the father of modern KOTO music. He made many compositions for KOTO music, and many of them are played now.
One of his best known compotitions is "Roku-dan (six variations)" (KOTO sound 165K) .
Playing the Shakuhachi This graphic shows the opening of the ﾔ Kinko honkyoku Hifumi ﾕ hachigaeshi in traditional and staff notations. The first three main symbols of the Japanese notation translate into a subtly complex variation around the note d ', lasting 24 seconds (p1 -2 ).
Music played with the instrument Shakuhachi , about 55 cm long flute. The name of the flute is its length expressed in the old Japanese length units.
The shakuhachi [shah-koo-HAH-chee] is an end-blown bamboo flute. It has four finger holes on the front and one thumbhole in back. The player may move his or her head around to produce bends, shakes, and slides in ornamenting the melody.
The shakuhachi is often associated with Buddhist monks, and its breathy tone quality works well in Zen meditation.