Satsuma Biwa

Mamoru Ohashi Japanese
Kimi Izumi Japanese

Not on view

The Biwa, Japan's plucked lute, is descended from the Chinese pipa in the 7th century. In Japan it was first used in court music (gaku-biwa), then in a smaller version by Buddhist monks (moso-biwa). Later the heike-biwa, used to recite the epic Tale of Heike, combined elements of most and by the 12th century the most popular instrument. The Satsuma-biwa was originally used by samurai in the 17th century for moral training but was also used in other context. From the mid-19th century to about 1915 the satsuma-biwa was one of the most popular instruments. It is played with a large triangular plectrum.

Satsuma Biwa, Mamoru Ohashi (Japanese, active Ogasa, Shizouka Prefecture 1953–), Wood, lacquer, nylon, Japanese

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