IS JAPAN COOL? OKINAWA
1. Sanshin: A traditional Okinawan stringed instrument, derived from the Chinese sangen.
2. In classical Ryukyu music and Okinawan folk music, the sanshin mainly plays the melody. The Okinawan musical scale lacks the D and A notes of the Western diatonic scale.
3. While inexpensive sanshins are sold as souvenirs, professional-quality sanshins can be very expensive. Sanshin acoustics depend on master craftsmanship and fine instruments are said to create “true” vibrations.
4. There’s a three-day crash course in making your own sanshin, and a one-year training program for international students who want to become serious sanshin craftsmen.
5. You’ll hear the sound of the sanshin, not just at parties or live performance spots, but anywhere throughout Okinawa. The art of playing the sanshin is an inseparable part of life for the shimanchu, the local islanders.