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Koto
Place of Origin: Japan
Date: 1700-1850
Historical Period: Edo period (1615-1868)
Materials: Kiri wood, tortoise shell, antler, silver, copper alloy and silk
Dimensions: H. 6 3/4 in x W. 10 1/2 in x L. 75 3/8 in, H. 17.1 cm x W. 26.7 cm x L. 191.5 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Col. and Mrs. Samuel R. Dows
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Musical Instruments
Object Number: B72M1
On Display: No

Description

Label:

The koto is a horizontal, plucked, stringed instrument with a body made of paulownia wood. Its thirteen strings of waxed silk may be tuned to various scales by shifting the movable bridges on its soundboard. The instrument is placed on the floor in front of the player, who sits with legs folded under the body. The player plucks the instrument with three fingers of the right hand-thumb, index finger, and middle finger, all capped with ivory picks. The left hand is placed on the left side of the bridges, and the pitch is modified by pressing down the strings.

The ends and sides of the koto are decorated with inlaid designs of finely cut wood, green and white antler, tortoiseshell, and silver.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Later Japanese Lacquers" July 18 - November 15, 1987
Label:

The koto is a horizontal, plucked, stringed instrument with a body made of paulownia wood. Its thirteen strings of waxed silk may be tuned to various scales by shifting the movable bridges on its soundboard. The instrument is placed on the floor in front of the player, who sits with legs folded under the body. The player plucks the instrument with three fingers of the right hand-thumb, index finger, and middle finger, all capped with ivory picks. The left hand is placed on the left side of the bridges, and the pitch is modified by pressing down the strings.

The ends and sides of the koto are decorated with inlaid designs of finely cut wood, green and white antler, tortoiseshell, and silver.


Exhibition History: "Later Japanese Lacquers" July 18 - November 15, 1987