Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Koto

Date:
19th century
Geography:
Japan
Culture:
Japanese
Medium:
Wood, mother of pearl, metal, ivory
Dimensions:
71 × 9 1/2 in. (180.3 × 24.1 cm)
Classification:
Chordophone-Zither-plucked-long zither
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
08.55.2
Not on view
Koto music was introduced into Japan during the Nara period (710-84). It developed in the court and gradually entered the home as a sign of good breeding for daughters of the rising commercial class as well as those of the nobility. Nylon stringing and plastic bridges and plectrums are now replacing the traditional materials, silk for strings, ivory for its movable bridges (ji) and plectrums (tsume). Paulonia remains the wood used for the body of the zither.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown ; Edward Cadwell Moore Jr.
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