Jikata and their instruments

Jikata and their instruments

A picture of Jikata: https://americanhikikomorifilm.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/three-strings-the-shamisen/

Jikata are musical geisha who are trained in traditional Japanese music. Jikata learn music from very young ages in order to master their craft. Those geisha are well known for playing kouta or short songs usually those developed in the Edo period that focus on shamisen with a vocal accompaniment. In addition, interestingly Kouta, for jikata was easy to learn and costs were lower than other genres of traditional music. Kouta boom occurred during the late 1940s and clearly 1950s due to increasing number of kouta learners and teachers.

The most common instruments that jikata learn are:

  • Shamisen is a three stringed guitar like instrument with a small box drum and a long neck. If it is being performed in a small context, the fingertip is used to pluck the strings rather than the bachi. However, a bachi is used for outa performed on stage in a larger banquet setting.
  • Taiko drums can be tuned to different sound. The influence of Kabuki theatre can be seen in the choice of using drums for the rhythmic background.
  • Hyoshigi is a wooden instrument that makes high-pitch cracking sound. It is connected by a thin ornamental rope. It is often used to announce the beginning and the end of the performance but used differently by Geisha.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.