- Henry Johnson
Zither of Japan. The name refers to the seven-string Chinese qin (ch’in) as used in Japan. It is also known as karagoto (Tang koto), kin no koto (kin type of koto), and shichigenkin (seven-string kin). Originally the ideograph for the seven-string kin was used for this instrument, which does not have movable bridges, but it has also been used for the 13-string koto. On the kin, the player’s right-hand fingertips or fingernails pluck the silk or metal strings while the left hand stops them against the soundboard, which is a long piece of paulownia with the inside scooped out. A backboard with two rectangular soundholes is attached underneath the soundboard. To the player’s right is a fixed bridge, and to the left a nut. The strings are tuned by pegs at the right and are tied under the tail at the left. On the surface of the soundboard 13 markers (...