Show Summary Details

Page of
PRINTED FROM Oxford Music Online. © Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single article in Oxford Music Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).


  • David W. Hughes


General term for Japanese gongs that are struck on the inside surface; they tend to be thinner than those struck on the outside, which are called atarigane. The shōko of court music is such a gong but the best-known example is used in matsuri-bayashi (Shintō festival music of the Tokyo area): a small gong (diameter 10 to 15 cm) nestles in the left hand and its inside face and side are struck in rapid, complex rhythms with a stick tipped with a small deer-horn cylinder; at the same time the left hand alternately damps the gong and lets it ring. The rapid up-and-down movements of the stick might have called to mind the action of a pestle in a mortar and suggested the name, which means ‘grinding gong’. (For another etymology ...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.