Tsugaru Jamisen

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tsugaru jamisen is a kind of folk music from Hirosaki in the Tsugaru area of northern Tohoku.

Tsugaru Jamisen performance

The Tsugaru jamisen has a thicker neck and strings than the ordinary shamisen and is struck harder with the plectrum.

Tsugaru jamisen is said to have its roots in the performances of blind women players called goze, further refined and developed by male performers known as bosama. In the Meiji Period, Tsugaru jamisen accompanied minyo folk songs before developing into a solo instrument.

Tsugaru jamisen can be heard at various live houses and restaurants in the castle town of Hirosaki and at the ASPAM building in Aomori. The Tsugaru Shamisen Tourist Hall in Goshogawaru introduces the Tsugaru shamisen and Tsugaru folk music. Visitors can hear live performances and try their hand at the instrument. The Tsugaru Shamisen Tourist Hall is a short walk from Kanagi Station.

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