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Japan's brief history


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Japan's brief history

  1. 1. Often likened to a banjo, it consists of a snakeskincovered body, neck and three strings. Traditionally, it was covered with the skin of the Burmese python, but today, due to CITES regulations, the skin of the python reticulatus is also used. A bamboo bridge raises the strings off the skin.
  2. 2. The tonkori is a plucked string instrument played by the Ainu people of Hokkaidō, northern Japan and Sakhalin. It generally has five strings, which are not stopped or fretted but simply played "open".The instrument is believed to have been developed in Sakhalin. By the 1970s the instrument was
  3. 3. A banjo-like lute with three strings, the shamisen was brought to Japan from China in the 16th century. Popular in Edo's pleasure districts, the shamisen was often used in Kabuki theater. Made from red sandalwood and ranging from 1.1 to 1.4 meters long, the shamisen has ivory pegs, strings made from twisted silk, and a belly covered in cat or dog skin. The strings, which are of different thickness, are plucked or struck with a tortoise shell pick.
  4. 4. Made of split and tapered strips of smoked bamboo (susudake) or burned bamboo (yakidake), glued together to form a tapering conical bore. The smoking carbonizes the bamboo and preserves it. The split strips of bamboo are reversed to place the hard bamboo surface on the inside for improved acoustics. Some modern versions of nohkan use an interior coating oftempera paint for this. The strips are then glued together, bound with thin strips of twisted cherry bark (kabamaki) and lacquered to make the conical tube The nohkan plays a strong high pitch (hishigi) that is rich with high frequency harmonics.
  5. 5. Shakuhachi is a Japanese endblownflute. It was originally introduced from China into Japan in the 8th century and underwent a resurgence in the early Edo Period. The shakuhachi is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods. It was used by the monks of the Fuke schoolof Zen Buddhism i n the practice
  6. 6. "Sakura Sakura" "Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms"), also known as "Sakura", is a traditional Japanese folk song depicting spring, the season of cherry blossoms. Contrary to popular belief, the song did not originate in ancient times; it was a popular, urban melody of the Edo period and was adopted as a piece for beginning koto students in the Tokyo Academy of Music Collection of Japanese Koto Music issued in 1888 (in English) by the Department of Education.[The song has been popular since the Meiji period, and the lyrics in their present form were attached then. It is often sung in international settings as a song representative of Japan. In 2007, it was selected for Nihon no Uta Hyakusen, a collection of songs and nursery rhymes widely beloved in Japan.