EXPERIENCE TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY KOTO MUSIC BY KOTO NO WA
This hybrid performance will include history, detailed explanations, and visual aids that share the history and tradition of koto, and after the concert we will open the floor to Q/A.
The koto is a string instrument that originated in China and was brought to Japan by cultural emissaries between the 7th and 8th centuries. Throughout its long history, the instrument has changed into a uniquely Japanese form and has become an integral part of Japanese culture.
The koto is about six feet long and consists of a hollow body made from Paulownia wood (kiri). Most koto have 13 silk or nylon strings, and movable bridges, called ji, are placed along the length of each string.
Until Japan was modernized in the 19th century, koto music was very popular only among aristocrats, daughters of samurai and wealthy merchants. After Japan was modernized, western musical styles started to influence Japanese culture, and the koto gradually lost its popularity, especially during Japan’s rapid economic growth period after World War II. In recent years, with Japanese government’s efforts to promote traditional arts, koto has been taught at schools all over Japan. Nowadays, the instrument is played by people from all walks of life.
HEALTH & SAFETY POLICY
BIMA is following the COVID-19 recommendations and guidance from Kitsap Public Health District, Washington State Department of Health, and the CDC, and will continue to update health and safety policies as needed. At this time, masks and proof of vaccination are not required–but we welcome you to wear a mask if you choose.
We recommend visiting our website prior to this event for the most up-to-date policies.
KOTO NO WA
Koto no WA started as a koto class at the Nikkei Manor by Chigusa Kitai and Shiho Kurauchi in 2001. After several years of practice, members started playing traditional and contemporary koto music together for public performances at music halls, public schools and libraries in Greater Seattle Area, Japanese consulate parties and local events such as From Hiroshima To Hope, Aki Matsuri (currently known as Japan Fair) and Sakura-Con.
During the pandemic, when no live music was possible, the group’s teenage members remotely volunteered for Nikkei Manor by providing a koto music video every month. Since Washington State reopened, the group has been actively performing at local events, such as Moon Viewing at Seattle Japanese Garden, private concerts at Mukai Farm & Garden on Vashon Island, Seattle Cherry Blossom Run 2022 and Sakura-Con 2022.