NC Japan Center >
Courses & Programs >
What is Koto?
What is Koto?
The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument,
similar to the Chinese guzheng. The koto is the national instrument of
Japan. Koto are about 180 centimetres (71 in) width, and made from
kiri wood (Paulownia tomentosa). They have 13 strings that are strung
over 13 movable bridges along the width of the instrument. Players can
adjust the string pitches by moving these bridges before playing, and
use three finger picks (on thumb, index finger, and middle finger) to
pluck the strings. [Source: Wikipedia]
Born in Osaka, Japan, Ms. Tomomi began taking koto lessons from age 9.
Her Ikuta style head master was Seiho Nomura from Nagoya, a repected
iconic koto player and composer. She earned the Jun-shihan (associate
instructor) license at age 16. After moving to NC with her family,
she started teaching again to a few students locally using her
master's music sheets. She and her students have performed at various
local events, including Duke Gardens, Marbles Children Museum, and
private parties. She plays mainly Japanese classic pieces, but enjoys
challenges in any kind of music, and she also enjoys playing piano and
mandolin. She plans to conduct a koto performance at the end of the
NC Japan Center ·
705 Barbour Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603 ·