It seems likely that the making of Fukuyama koto harp started at the time of the erection of a castle at the beginning of the Edo period (1600-1868) in Fukuyama, which is now a city in Hiroshima Prefecture. Craft industries flourished in castle towns during the Edo period, and with encouragement from the feudal lord at the time, both accompanied and unaccompanied songs were very popular in Fukuyama. In the latter years of the Shogunate and right through the Meiji period (1868-1912), superb koto players from Fukuyama appeared and trained many budding musicians. It is perhaps, therefore, little wonder that koto from this old castle town gained such a good reputation and production of these beautiful flat harps was quick to follow.
Well seasoned paulownia (Paulownia Sieb. et Zucc.) of the very best quality is used to make these instruments which are brimming over with exquisite craftsmanship evident in the extremely detailed work. The superb tone, the beautiful grain on the soundbox and the splendid decorations are a product of the technical brilliance of the highly experienced makers of the koto. There are now 11 government recognized Master Craftsmen leading this craft among the total of 202 staff employed by the 10 firms supplying these instruments to accomplished musicians and beginners alike.
- Fukuyama Koto Association
- 3-2-8 Miyoshi-cho,
Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture
Website : http://www.fukuyamakoto.or.jp/