- Henry Johnson
Lute of Japan. The instrument was developed in the early 2000s and combines features of the sanshin (from Okinawa and Amami) and the guitar or ukulele, with four fretted strings usually played with a plectrum. Several shapes are used for the body, including an oval and one that has straight sides. This latter instrument has a spruce soundtable with circular soundhole, mahogany sides, back, and neck, rosewood fixed bridge and fingerboard with 20 frets, and four machine tuners. The sounding string length is 63 cm. The oval-shaped instrument has a spruce or cedar top, maple sides and back, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard, and nyatoh-wood bridge, and sounding length of 47.5 cm. The ichigo ichie was a project between the neo-traditional popular music group Begin (Bigin) from Ishigaki island in Okinawa prefecture, and the guitar manufacturer Yairi Guitar in Gifu prefecture. Since the launch of the instrument in 2003, Begin has used the instrument on several recordings. The name of the instrument has a homonymic meaning of a once-in-a-life-time encounter, referring to the instrument’s tuning, which is in two pairs of ascending 5ths beginning on F, G, A, or C; beginning on G for example, the pitches would be ...