The shamisen is a three-stringed plucked lute. It was introduced to Japan from China during the Edo period. It is part of traditional sankyoku chamber music and is used as background music for kabuki theatre and as accompaniment to narratives and songs in bunraku puppet theatre.

The Tsugaru shamisen, a slightly larger instrument, is the staple of Tsugaru folk shamisen, an improvisational style developed in the northern region of Honshu, Japan's main island.

Related categories 2

Hidetaro, Honjoh
Traditional and contemporary shamisen musician and composer. Includes biography, discography with audio samples, shamisen history and styles including hauta and risogaku. [English/Japanese]
Trends in Japan: Tsugaru Shamisen
Article about renewed interest in the instrument. Includes links. (March 25, 2002)
IIAS Newsletter: Tsugaru Shamisen Music
Dr. Hae-kyung Um's book review of The Birth of Tsugaru Shamisen Music. (June 01, 1999)
Last update:
September 16, 2015 at 10:54:07 UTC
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