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Musical Instruments
Fue Flute
Chanpon Cymbals
Hyoshigi Wooden clappers
Taiko Large drum
Surigane Gong
Kotsuzumi Small drum
Kokyu or three-string bowed lute

The kokyu or three-string bowed lute is one of the nine Narimono or instruments for the Service.

The kokyu is believed to have either descended from the shamisen or Chinese huqin.[1]

The kokyu was often played with the koto and shamisen. The kokyu was particularly performed at bon dances and other religious festivals.

Use within Tenrikyo

Oyasama is said to have personally taught the kokyu to Naraito Ueda beginning in 1877.[2] The performance of the kokyu in Tenrikyo services has since been reserved for women with the exception between the years 1896 and 1936 when government interference not only restricted women from participating in the Kagura Service and playing the Narimono[3] but also forced Tenrikyo to replace the kokyu with a three-stringed version of the yakumo-goto[4] as the kokyu was considered an instrument unsuited for use in a religious service.


  1. Unless noted, most of the information on this page comes from 『改訂 天理教事典』 Kaitei Tenrikyo jiten, pp. 329–30.
  2. See Anecdotes of Oyasama 55.
  3. See Osashizu 1896-05-20.
  4. See Osashizu 1897-11-20 for the Divine Direction associated with these changes.