Some Japanese musical instruments, because Mun-chan has Ensemble today

Biwa: a short-necked fretted lute that is mostly used in narrative storytelling (First three pictures). Depending on the type of biwa will determine the number of strings.

Tsuzumi: a hand drum, usually played with bigger counterpart, the Ōtsuzumi. The heads of the drum were originally made of fox skin. (Picture 4 & 5)

Shamisen: a three stringed musical instrument (Last two pictures)

瓢箪の会:My 慈英出以 debut.

I started taking kotsuzumi lessons in June from Mochizuki Saburo-sensei in order to learn more about the rhythms, history and tradition the inspired the pieces I’ve been learning with indra-因陀羅-. The kotsuzumi is an hourglass-shaped hand-drum that was historically the instrument of the samurai. Similar to the violin in Europe, the tsuzumi is a prized instrument that can cost millions depending on the value and artistry involved. When Saburo-sensei asked me to be a part of the biennial hogaku recital, 瓢箪の会 (Hyotan-no-kai), I was honored, but I knew little about what I was getting myself into.

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It takes a lot of skill to handle two different tsuzumi drums at once, but she aptly did it.  April 12, 2015, Tokyo, Japan.  Text and photography by Rekishi no Tabi on Flickr