Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sachi's O-koto

Sachi was practicing on her o-koto when she learned that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. Here's an excerpt:

     She knelt beside the long wooden harp on the floor of the dance room. Gently plucking its strings, she tried to mimic the music playing on the record album. After several minutes, her fingers began to throb. Mama said she needed to toughen them up, but today she didn’t feel like it. She lifted the needle and turned off the phonograph.
     Maybe listening to a different kind of music would help. She turned on the radio and heard a saxophone blaring In the Mood. She giggled. How would that sound on the o-koto?
     As the trombones entered the arrangement, a voice broke in:

     "December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan..."

This is a video of the o-koto and how it is played:


  1. What a great way to introducte people to Sachi and Japanese culture at the same time. I know this book is going to be a success.

  2. Nice sound! I enjoy harpsichords and all such stringed instruments. Can't tell for sure, but looks like o-kotos come in different sizes, like bass, tenor, etc. The white objects may be frets.