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

The shamisen or three string long-necked lute is one of the nine Narimono or instruments for the Service.

Although there is a theory that claims the shamisen descended from the Chinese pipa, given that the shamisen has no frets, the more accepted theory is that the shamisen derived either from the kokyu or sanshin from the Ryukyu (Okinawa) Islands.[1]

The shamisen is played with a fan-shaped plectrum.

Use within Tenrikyo

Oyasama is said to have personally taught the shamisen to Yoshie Iburi beginning in 1877.[2] The performance of the shamisen 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 shamisen with a three-stringed version of the Satsuma biwa[4] as the shamisen was considered an instrument unsuited for use in a religious service.

See also

External link


  1. Unless noted, most of the information on this page comes from 『改訂 天理教事典』 Kaitei Tenrikyo jiten, p. 407.
  2. See Anecdotes of Oyasama 53 and Anecdotes of Oyasama 54.
  3. See Osashizu 1896-05-20.
  4. See Osashizu 1897-11-20 for the Divine Direction associated with these changes.