Updated: February 26, 2016
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4 Japanese Traditional Instruments You Might Get Interested In

Japan has a long history in its music and instruments. People used to play music for gods when they pray. There are still many instruments used today which were born in those periods of Japan. Here are four of them and videos.

#1 Wadaiko / 和太鼓

Wadaiko means Japanese drums. There are many types of Wadaiko. The simplest and coolest Japanese instrument.

Here's a video of popular wadaiko group called "Tao".

#2 Shamisen / 三味線

Shamisen is comparatively a new Japanese instrument born in the 15th century It has three strings and is played with a plectrum called "bachi".

There's a very famous pair of brothers who are shamisen artists called "Yoshida Brothers".

#3 Koto / 琴

It is said that koto is the oldest instrument in Japan, which is is usually a six- or seven-stringed zither.


"Umino mierumachi" from Kiki's Delivery Service

#4 Shakuhachi / 尺八

Shakuhachi is is a Japanese end-blown flute, which is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods. It was used by the monks of Zen Buddhism.


Princess Mononoke's theme played by shakuhachi.

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