About Koto

The Koto first was introduced to Japan from China and Korea in the 7th Century. Initially the Koto was used exclusively by the Imperial Court. By the 17th century, its use became widespread and was enjoyed especially when accompanied by voice, Shamisen, or Shakuhachi. It is made of paulownia wood, is about six feet long and ten inches wide. Traditional Koto has 13 strings. The strings are plucked with plectra worn on the thumb, Index and middle fingers of the right hand. Various modifications of sound are made by pressing or pulling the strings with the left hand.

Here is my Koto sound. Enjoy!

Cherry Blossom Festival Koto and Violin

Visiting Aizu, Japan,
where the birth place of paulownia wood - Koto instrumental wood-
in 2006

Hometown of paulownia wood, Aizu, Mishima-cho

Paulownia trees

Yoshi and a Paulownia tree

Cut the paulownia tree

Cut the paulownia tree

Cutting the Paulownia tree in the factory

Leave wood for a few years

Start making a koto

The worker's hands jobs

Charcoal it


The owner shows the back side of koto


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