Excavated ancient koto 300 B.C.

Excavated ancient koto 300 B.C.

Replicated ancient koto 300 B.C.

Replicated ancient koto 300 B.C.

Terracotta clay figure playing koto

Terracotta clay figure playing koto

Excavated from 300 B.C.

Blind female practitioner

Blind female practitioner

The practitioner used several instruments as a part of her practice. Koto was one of the instruments used in the ancient era.

Wagon

Wagon

Wagon

Wagon

Koto bridges are made from maple tree branches.

Gagaku

Gagaku

The oldest orchestra in world history formed in 701.

Dragon Symbol

Dragon Symbol

The current type of koto was imported from China about 1300 years ago. It symbolized a dragon and its parts were named after the dragon's elements.

Current type of koto

Current type of koto

It was imported 1300 years ago from China.

Yatsuhashi-kengyo (1614-1685)

Yatsuhashi-kengyo (1614-1685)

Blind Father of Modern Koto.

Yatsuhashi-kengyo's cemetery

Yatsuhashi-kengyo's cemetery

Konkaikomyoji in Kyoto, Kurotani. Koto bridges are arranged as decorations.

Sanju-no-to, Konkaikomyoji

Sanju-no-to, Konkaikomyoji

Important cultural property. Built in 1633.

Yatsuhashi-kengyo's cemetery

Yatsuhashi-kengyo's cemetery

Located behind the Sanju-no-to on your left.

To-do-yashiki site

To-do-yashiki site

To-do-za was a Japanese guild for blind men from 14th century to 1871. The members monopolized biwa players, koto players, masseurs and acupuncturists. Kengyo was the highest rank in their hierarchical structure.

To-do-za site

To-do-za site

Biwa hoshi

Biwa hoshi

A blind performer of the Tale of the Heike along with biwa. One of the jobs given to the blind people.

Yamada-kengyo (1757-1817)

Yamada-kengyo (1757-1817)

Blind Founder of Yamada koto organization.

Anma

Anma

A blind practitioner of traditional Japanese massage.

Hari-shi

Hari-shi

A blind acupuncturist.

Mr. Michio Miyagi (1894-1956)

Mr. Michio Miyagi (1894-1956)

Blind koto master. Fahter of traditional Japanese music.

Kengyo-no-ma

Kengyo-no-ma

Mr. Miyagi's room. Miyagi Michio Memorial Hall Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Mr. Miyagi's cemetery

Mr. Miyagi's cemetery

Yanaka cemetery.

Kinuta

Kinuta

Kinuta is a stick used as an iron after the laundry. These rhythmical sounds and themes were often adapted in koto music.