Kunichika Toyohara, Beauty Playing Koto, Music

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Original Japanese woodblock print.

Artist: Kunichika Toyohara (1835-1900)
Title: Beauty Playing the Koto
Publisher: Miyake
Date: 1877
24.7 x 36.6 cm
Condition report: A pinhole.


The koto is an elongated zither, often with thirteen strings. These are stretched over movable bridges which can be adjusted to achieve the desired tone. It is frequently cited in the Tale of Genji and the Tale of Heike. The strings of the koto are plucked using plectrums resembling long, reinforced nails that are attached to the thumb, index and middle finger of the right hand. The gestures used while playing and the sound of the instrument are distinctive and frequently depicted in prints.

More Information
Artist Name Kunichika Toyohara
Title Beauty Playing the Koto
Subject Beauty & Female, Kimono Design
Dimensions 24.7 x 36.6 cm