Shimisen
Shimisen on stage

The festival offers many facets of the Japanese music culture. From Japanese Drum (Taiko) and Japanese dance (Odori) to Japanese harp (Koto), you can experience and feel the passion of each of the talented artists as the perform for the audience. Check some of the many examples below:

Jiten Taiko
Jiten Taiko

太鼓 Taiko

The easily recognizable heartbeat of any Japanese festival, the sacred taiko drum is said to have been introduced to Japan from China in the fifth and sixth centuries. The powerful drumming was historically used in warfare, in religious ceremonies, in Noh and Kabuki theater, and is now popularly used in celebrations by thousands of taiko groups worldwide. Each year, a variety of dynamic groups play throughout the Cherry Blossom Festival and come together for a special collective performance of their own.

琴 Koto

Koto performers
Koto performers

The koto, or Japanese harp, has 13 strings and is traditionally made from paulownia wood. Originally an instrument of the Imperial Court, the koto has long been a symbol of elegance and tradition. Today, many artists are experimenting with new genres of music like jazz and pop. Listen to the variety of styles new and old, brought to you by these talented schools and performing groups.

 

三味線 Shamisen

Reigen Fujii Shamisen
Reigen Fujii Shamisen

尺八 Flute

The Japanese flute (Shakuhachi) was originally introduced from China into Japan in the 8th century and underwent a resurgence in the early Edo Period. The shakuhachi is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist in ABS plastic and hardwoods. It was used by the monks of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism in the practice of suizen ( blowing meditation).