A Musical Afternoon with Shakuhachi and Koto

So as you may have heard from my twitter feed, @maryag came down from NYC and we spent some quality Japan-geek time together.

On Sunday we went down to a local university and watched an excellent shakuhachi and koto performance by Akikazu Nakamura and Toshiko Kuto. Here’s a clip that I recorded of the encore by shakuhachi master Mr. Nakamura.

As you can see, the show was great. We sat right in front so had a great view of the performance and I got to take some photos and video. They played a good mix of modern and traditional pieces. After the show there was a question and answer session. The koto they were using had 13 strings, but the pamphlet mentioned that Kuto-san also performs on 20 and 25-string kotos. I asked what the deal was with all the different koto types, and they answered that about 50 years ago the 17-string koto was introduced in Japan, and now that is considered to be the “standard” number of strings on a koto. Learn something new everyday!

Anyway, here are some pics, and enjoy the music!

Toshiko Kuto and Akikazu Nakamura

– Harvey