Ukiyoe Floating World Art, Japanese Woodblock

Ukiyo-e (浮世絵) is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints (or woodcuts) and paintings produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries, featuring motifs of landscapes, tales from history, the theatre, and pleasure quarters. It is the main artistic genre of woodblock printing in Japan.

Ukiyoe Katsushika Hokusai

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Old School Japanese Irezumi Tattoo in Ukiyoe Hanga, Woodblocks

Irezumi & Ukiyoe ( 刺青と浮世絵 ) 
Original Color Ukiyoe Irezumi Hanga

Irezumi refers to traditional Japanese tattooing, using Tebori. Tebori is the technique of tattooing by hand. Two to ten needles are attached to a stick and used to insert the ink under the skin. There are only a few people with the ability to create this art.

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Japanese Instruments Koto Music

The koto (琴 or 箏) is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, similar to the Chinese guzheng. The koto is the national instrument of Japan.Koto are about 180 centimetres (71 in) width, and made from kiri wood (Paulownia tomentosa). They have 13 strings that are strung over 13 movable bridges along the width of the instrument. Players can adjust the string pitches by moving these bridges before playing, and use three finger picks (on thumb, index finger, and middle finger) to pluck the strings.

Koto Playing Arashiyama Kyoto

Koto & Shakuhachi Japanese Traditional Music

Japanese Traditional Koto Song ” SANKA ”

25 Strings Koto – Haruyo Haruyo

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Shinobue and Takebue Bamboo Flute

The shinobue (篠笛) also called takebue is a Japanese transverse flute or fue that has a high-pitched sound. It is found in hayashi and nagauta ensembles, and plays important roles in noh and kabuki theatre music.

Shinobue Kenuke Toge by Tarara

It is heard in Shinto music such as kagura-den, as well as in traditional Japanese folk songs. There are two styles: uta (song) and hayashi (festival). The uta is properly tuned to the Western scale, and can be played in ensembles or as a solo instrument. The hayashi is not in the correct pitch, because it is simply a piece of hollow bamboo with holes cut into it. It emits a very high-pitched sound, and is appropriate for the festival/folk music of Japan. Both shinobue flutes play a very important role in the Japanese theater.

Shinobue Playing “Shine” by kogakusyu Sho

Matsuri Yatai Bayashi, Shinobue

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Wadaiko Dram Music, Taiko Drammer

(和太鼓) Wadaiko, Japanese Taiko

Taiko means “drum” in Japanese. Japanese taiko drums have been developed into a wide range of percussion instruments that are used in both Japanese folk and classical musical traditions.

KODO Wadaiko Japanese Taiko Drammers

Taiko, in general, are stick percussion instruments. With the exception of the kotsuzumi and ootsuzumi, all taiko are struck with bachi. They have heads on both sides of the drum body, and a sealed resonating cavity. Taiko are also characterized by a high amount of tension on the drums heads, with a correspondingly high pitch relative to body size. This high tension likely developed in response to Japan’s wet and humid summers when most festivals take place. Many taiko are not tunable, and a drum with high head tension would counteract the slacking effects of humidity.

Nodaiko Shobu, Wadaiko Drammer Group

Matsumuragumi Solo Oodaiko

Nobushi Wadaiko

Wadaiko Yamato, Drammers of Japan

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Gagaku and Classical Instruments

(鼓) Tsuzumi
The tsuzumi is a Japanese drum. It consists of a wooden body shaped like an hourglass, and it is taut, with two drum heads with cords that can be squeezed or released to increase or decrease the tension of the heads respectively. This mechanism allows the player to raise or lower the pitch of the drum while playing, not unlike the African talking drum.

Tsuzumis are types of drums played in Japanese traditional performing arts, such as ‘Noh’ and ‘Kabuki’. There are two kinds of Tsuzumi, Ootsuzumi and Kotsuzumi, that have almost the same structure, but whose playing styles, tone colors and vibration modes are different.

(笙)Shō and Hichiriki(篳篥)
The Shō (笙) is a Japanese free reed musical instrument.It is modeled on the Chinese sheng.It consists of 17 slender bamboo pipes, each of which is fitted in its base with a metal free reed. The instrument’s sound is said to imitate the call of a phoenix.

The Hichiriki (篳篥) is a double reed Japanese fue (flute) used as one of two main melodic instruments in Japanese gagaku music, the other being the ryūteki.The hichiriki is derived from the Chinese guan or bili, and is also related to the Korean piri.

The ryūteki (龍笛, literally “dragon flute”) is a Japanese transverse fue made of bamboo. It is used in gagaku, the Shinto classical music associated with Japan’s imperial court. The sound of the ryūteki is said to represent the dragons which ascend the skies between the heavenly lights (represented by the shō) and the people of the earth (represented by the hichiriki).

(能管) Nohkan
The Nohkan (能管) is a high pitched, Japanese bamboo transverse flute or fue (笛?). It is commonly used in traditional Imperial Noh and Kabuki theatre.The nohkan or fue’ (“flute”) is made of split and tapered strips of smoked bamboo (susudake) or burned bamboo (yakidake), glued together to form a tapering conical bore.

Meiji Shrine Dedication Gagaku Concert


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Shakuhachi, Bamboo Flute, Zen Mind

The Shakuhachi is a Japanese end-blown flute. It is traditionally made of bamboo, but versions now exist in ABS and hardwoods. It was used by the monks of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism in the practice of suizen, blowing meditation.

Shakuhachi Zen: “In one sound, become the Buddha.

Blowing zen…The shakuhachi practice of suizen or ‘blowing Zen’ is based on the meditative practice of zazen or ‘sitting Zen.’ The flow of the music is decided by the natural rhythm of the players’ breath. The shakuhachi honkyoku are characterised by their lack of a strict metrical pulse. This non-temporal rhythm is contrary to the temporal or measured rhythm of western music. The western word phrase is not applicable to shakuhachi music which depends on the breath to define its shape. The expression issokuon (一息音) or ‘one-breath tone’ refers to individual sections of honkyoku. Shakuhachi players differ to the extent to which they utilise the breathing techniques of zazen in the present. There are also different interpretations of what type of breathing the komusô used. The komusô followed the discipline of sangakku (三学句) which involved the practice of Zen, shakuhachi and fencing. An essential element of martial arts training is the cultivation of stillness and the ability to immobilise the full energy of the body and thus the breathing at unpredictable moments. This can be felt in shakuhachi playing in the sudden bursts of breath after a subdued tone or silence. An analogy could be made with the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ martial arts.

Many Komuso were former samurai:
Only true Komuso, though, could play the Shakuhachi honkyoku which were musical pieces of such complexity that only those adept with the Shakuhachi could perform them. Sometimes komuso were asked to perform these pieces to see if they were true komuso or the Shogun’s spies in disguise. However, it mattered little as some of the true komuso were also on the Shogunate’s payroll.

In This Video 2 Masters are living national treasures ( 人間国宝 ). Yamaguchi Goro and Aoki ReiboThey are Playong Honkyoku.Shikanotone.

Honkyoku (Gekko Roteki) play flute in the moonlight

Haru no Umi…the Sea in Spring…
This song is BGM of Seven Samurai

Morden Type of Flute Music…Okinawan song…Shimauta

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Shakuhachi Komuso, Zen Buddhists priests, Former samurai

尺八虚無僧 Shakuhachi Komuso

The streets of cities and villages were accustomed to the sight of a Buddhist priest playing a bamboo flute with his head completely covered by a straw hat. This was the Komusō. Komusō were Zen Buddhists priests who wandered about Japan playing the Shakuhachi for both meditation and alms.

Komusō wore a woven straw hat which covered their head completely looking like an overturned basket or a certain kind of woven beehive. The concept was that by wearing such a hat they removed their ego. What the hat also did was remove their identity from prying eyes. Komusō was a popular disguise for spies and supposedly the deadly ninja.

The komusō was also used as a disguise by samurai, particularly ronin, and possibly also ninja, who were seldom members of the samurai class.[3]

When the Tokugawa Shogunate came into power over a unified Japan at the beginning of the 17th Century, the komuso came under the government’s wary eyes. Many komusō had formerly been [samurai] during the Sengoku (Warring States) Period (16th Century) and were now lay clergy. The potential for trouble was there because many of them had turned ronin when their masters were defeated – most likely by the Shogunate and their allies.Komusō were granted the rare privilege of traveling through the country without hindrance.

During the medieval period, shakuhachi were most notable for their role in the Fuke sect of Zen Buddhist monks, known as komusō (“priests of nothingness,” or “emptiness monks”), who used the shakuhachi as a spiritual tool. Their songs (called “honkyoku”) were paced according to the players’ breathing and were considered meditation (suizen) as much as music.

Travel around Japan was restricted by the shogunate at this time, but the Fuke sect managed to wrangle an exemption from the Shogun, since their spiritual practice required them to move from place to place playing the shakuhachi and begging for alms (one famous song reflects this mendicant tradition, “Hi fu mi, hachi gaeshi”, “One two three, pass the alms bowl”). They persuaded the Shogun to give them “exclusive rights” to play the instrument. In return, some were required to spy for the shogunate, and the Shogun sent several of his own spies out in the guise of Fuke monks as well. This was made easier by the wicker baskets that the Fuke wore over their heads, a symbol of their detachment from the world.

In response to these developments, several particularly difficult honkyoku pieces, e.g., Shika no tone, became well-known as “tests”: if you could play them, you were a real Fuke. If you couldn’t, you were probably a spy and might very well be killed if you were in unfriendly territory.

With the Meiji Restoration, beginning in 1868, the shogunate was abolished and so was the Fuke sect, in order to help identify and eliminate the shogun’s holdouts. The very playing of the shakuhachi was officially forbidden for a few years. Non-Fuke folk traditions did not suffer greatly from this, since the tunes could be played just as easily on another pentatonic instrument. However, the honkyoku repertoire was known exclusively to the Fuke sect and transmitted by repetition and practice, and much of it was lost, along with many important documents.

When the Meiji government did permit the playing of shakuhachi again, it was only as an accompanying instrument to the koto, shamisen, etc. It was not until later that honkyoku were allowed to be played publicly again as solo pieces.

References: Fuke sect – History of SHAKUHACHI, Wikipedia, 日本の伝統芸能講

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Tsugaru Shamisen and Okinawa Sanshin

The shamisen is an instrument that’s been around for a long time in Japan. It’s about 1 meter (3 feet) long and has three strings that are played using a large pick called a bachi.

How to play shamisen: Hit strings with Bachi(the large pick)vertically to body,so strings touches body part.When strings touches body,it makes percussive sound.And you have to push strings with your nail when playing the shamisen.

Yoshida Brothers KODO

The tsugaru Jamisen is a kind of shamisen whose unique style of play gives performers room to improvise. A lot of people say it’s similar to jazz in that way.

God of Shamisen. Takahashi Chikuzan ( Samisen-jyonkara )
Traditional Tsugaru Shamisen

Osanai Kaoru,He uses two kinds of touch(mae-bachi ushiro-bachi,the two is called Bachizuke).With Bachizuke.

Nagayama Yoko
This song “Kaettekoi Yo” means “To reaturn Home”
I love to see her paformance.

Hiromitsu Agatsuma ( Tsugaru jyongara )

The sanshin (三線 literally “three strings”) is an Okinawan musical instrument and precursor of the Japanese shamisen. Often likened to a banjo, it consists of a python skin-covered body, neck and three strings.

Begin ( Sanshin no Hana )
He is playing the Okinawa Sanshin

In mainland Japan, many people refer to the sanshin as jabisen (蛇皮線, literally “snake-skin strings”) or jamisen (蛇三線, “snake three strings”) because the body of the instrument has a snakeskin covering. A bamboo bridge raises the strings off the skin.

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Japanese Morden Robots, Humanoid, Actroid, Andoroid

Kokoro’s Actroid, Humanoid Female Robot
This android robot was demoed for Robotopia at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Her movements are surprisingly realistic. Obviously a great deal of time and effort has been devoted to studying the body language of real women so that it could be emulated by the android. Of course all of her actions and words are carefully scripted. Her creators have even gone to the trouble of including a little humor.

At one point during the demonstration she explains how she uses specially designed air servos that give her a ‘nice body’, implying that she doesn’t have to watch her calories or worry about gaining weight. Later during the demo she cautions the men in the audience not to touch her because that would be sexual harassment. Interestingly, many of the spectators accepted her comment totally and were nodding their heads politely in agreement. Logically they knew she wasn’t real, but they automatically behaved as if she were.

From a technology perspective, the android, Humanoid is stationary and has air tubes running up through her feet and legs to operate the custom air servos that provide her realistic movement. The air compressor and associated electronics is located in a box about the size of a small, half height refrigerator. Due to all the ambient noise at the event, and the crowds, we really couldn’t determine how loud or annoying Actroid’s air system might actually be.

AKIHABARA ROBOT FESTIVAL: Humanoid, Actroid Female Robot

Japanese Nurse Humanoid Robot
It can do human like movements with almost human like movement. This includes face movements, gestures, speaking, and other movements. It
is truly a robot ahead of its time. For all you know, it might
be coming to a hospital near you :)

She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.

One day robots could fool us into believing they are human.

Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot

And she passed her casting test with her 43 kg weight and her 1 meter 58 centimeter build.And though she may resemble a Japanese animation character, her agent says she needs to work more on her expressions if she really wants to become a supermodel.

Japan’s Robot Supermodel Hits the Runway

Please Check This Page also About Wooden Karakuri Robot.
This is Origin of Japanese Morden Robots Technology
Traditional Wooden Karakuri

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