Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 19 November 2019


  • Henry Johnson


Musical bow of Japan. The name refers to the quintessential material used for the bow (azusa: catalpa) and the form (yumi: bow). Other names for the instrument include azusa and yumidaiko (daiko/taiko: drum). It is nowadays made of wood such as catalpa or mulberry and is about 1 metre long, has an independent resonator (usually an upside-down box), and is sounded by a wooden beater usually held in the player’s right hand. The single string is normally made of flax. The player, who normally kneels with the string placed horizontally in front, presses the bow on to the resonator with the left hand and beats the string without any change of pitch. The azusayumi is used especially by female itako (shamans) to accompany religious chanting, and is particularly well known in the northern parts of Honshū. A musical bow has been known in Japan since ancient times and is mentioned in the 11th-century book ...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.