Koto Model Shinobue Bamboo Flute

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¥38,850
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Koto and her magic flutes
"OK, Koto, imagine a full moon in autumn." Without a moment's hesitation, she effortlessly improvises a musical accompaniment for the scene. And not simply a great musical accompaniment; you feel as if you've heard the only possible musical accompaniment for a cool, moonlit evening in the Japanese countryside. Ask her to do it again and you'll get a new take, just as perfect, but completely different. Koto is a charismatic young woman with a facial appearance that won't hold still from one second to the next as she skips through the conversation. Even if she's right there in front of you, it's almost as if some spirit from the Japanese countryside is flitting around the outer limits of your field of vision. Is she really sitting here at all? But when she starts to play, the flute seems to anchor that spirit briefly to the here and now. Koto carries a giant quiver of flutes and will happily pluck out the best instrument to accommodate any musical request. One moment she's giving you a taste of old-style Hiroshima kagura, then abruptly she'll switch to new-style Hiroshima kagura. The difference is striking, but it's impossible to say which version is better. They both simply sound "right". Koto goes on to show me how the way she plays a flute is different from the way a Western flute is played, but it seems an outright insult to the soul of the instrument to hear her play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on it. Play that kagura again, Koto. Play the moon music. Quite frankly, I don't care what you play. Just play that bamboo flute a little longer....

Adam Fulford
Founder, Japanese Greats


【About the Koto Model Shinobue Bamboo Flute】
This shinobue flute, made in cooperation with renowned shinobue workshop Kobo Mizuya, has been crafted with the greatest care, from its distinctive pitch to its mouthpiece. The flute, coated with lacquer, is known for its lovely burnished sound. It is also easy to play and to produce high notes, making it an ideal choice for shinobue beginners. Koto’s seal is branded on the side opposite the finger holes.

【Size】
Length: 410 mm
Diameter : 15 mm
Weight: 62 g
Because this is product is made after you order it, please allow approximately four weeks for delivery.

【Koto: Kagura & Shinobue Flautist】
Koto is from Hiroshima. Her parents are members of a troupe that perform kagura, a traditional Japanese dance art. With their encouragement, Koto began playing the kagura flute at age five, and was a flautist in her school’s wind ensemble. At age 15, she joined her parents’ kagura troupe, and from that time, she won a string of prizes in regional kagura competitions. At 19, Koto began teaching herself to play the shinobue flute, and at the same time began collaborating with pianists and other musicians. Currently based in Tokyo, Koto now performs both in Japan and internationally.


【JUN: Three Women. Traditional Japanese Instruments.】
In 2011, three young women, all great players of traditional Japanese instruments, bonded over the shared love of their craft, and united to form a special musical unit. They have showcased their talents far and wide, both at home and abroad, drawing attention and acclaim wherever they perform.
Koto: Shinobue and kagura flute virtuoso
Karin: Plays a 25-string koto, and sings in a voice all her own
Miho: She may look dainty, but her taiko drum resounds
Their gracefully interwoven sounds are evocative to Japanese audiences, and now foreigners are also being captivated. The trio takes Japanese music as its starting point, but they have incorporated jazz, pop, and world music into their original compositions. Definitely a group to watch.