Traditional Japanese musical instruments, known as wagakki (和楽器) in Japanese, are musical instruments used in the traditional folk music of Japan. They comprise a range of string, wind, and percussion instruments.
lit.'three strings' (三線Sanshin) – an Okinawan precursor of the mainland Japanese (and Amami Islands) shamisen
Shamisen (三味線) – a banjo-like lute with three strings; brought to Japan from China in the 16th century. Popular in Edo's pleasure districts, the shamisen is often used in kabuki theater. Made from red sandalwood and ranging from 1.1 to 1.4 metres (3 ft 7 in to 4 ft 7 in) long, the shamisen has ivory pegs, strings made from twisted silk, and a belly covered in cat or dog skin or a synthetic skin.[a] The strings, which are of different thickness, are plucked or struck with a tortoise shell, ivory or synthetic ivory pick.
^Though animal skin was used in previous decades—as recently as the 1970s—due to a decline in its production, synthetic skins, which are considered to provide a generally equal sound quality, are typically used in the modern day. During its period of common use, cat skin was used for finer instruments, and dog skin was used for practice instruments.
^"素麺箱玲琴・弓笛製作 of 胡弓・大胡弓・玲琴・クーチョー・雛胡弓など多彩な胡弓を奏でる胡弓演奏家石田音人 胡弓奏者石田音人の音楽活動を紹介".
Gunji, Sumi; Johnson, Henry (2012). A Dictionary of Traditional Japanese Musical Instruments: From Prehistory to the Edo Period. Tokyo: Eideru Kenkyūjo. ISBN 978-4-87168-513-9..