ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Make a Koto

Updated on August 29, 2011

Are you fascinated by anything Japanese? Well, even if you are not one of the individuals addicted to the Japanese culture, you probably still have a curious mind as to what being Japanese feels like. Certainly, a big part of their culture is their music; folk and pop alike. Japanese cultural music somehow becomes more beautiful when there is a koto used.

                The koto is a traditional and national musical instrument in Japan. It has thirteen (13) strings that are connected to thirteen (13) movable bridges that can be moved as the player desires in order to change the pitch. It has been introduced in Japan in the 7th and 8th century having only 5 strings. The use of koto in Japanese cultural music has rapidly expanded and so is the number of its strings. From 5 strings, it became 7, and in the Nara Period, it gained additional 6 strings making its string total to 13. Koto is actually the general name used by Japanese men to describe any stringed instrument like kin no koto and sau no koto. The names of their instruments evolved and the sau no koto became just so or koto.

                By now, your curiosity in the koto might have increased and you probably might want one for yourself right now. You can buy a koto in a music specialty store or in almost all department stores that sells musical instruments. However, why buy one when you can make one on your own? Perhaps, making a koto is not the simplest and easiest task but it is worth it. Your hard labour in making the instrument would always pay off in the end and you will realize that not only did you have fun making the instrument; you also did a very good job at it thus producing a personalized koto. If you want to make one, you just have to have the right materials.

Things you will need:

·         Scissors

·         Tape

·         Cardboard

·         Box (Shoe Box or any similar size)

·         Markers

·         Rubber bands

·         Construction paper

·         Puncher (for holes)

Instructions:

Step 1: Be creative. Get your shoe box and some papers and get ready to unleash your creativity. Cover the body of the shoe box including its lid with the papers. If you decided on some plain papers, you might want to add a little more design to it so it would not be neutral and boring. You can draw some dragons on it or doodle on it if you want. Just add some designs to make it look interesting and more attractive.

Step 2: Make a hole in the box. Use a pair of scissors to cut an appropriate sized oval hole in the lid of the shoe box. If your box now resembles a tissue box, you probably did the right thing.

Step 3: Punch some holes in the box. Use the puncher and place four to six holes around the oval. Remember to put equal number of holes on each side of the oval.

Step 4: Put some strings to the koto. Use your rubber bands in this step. Make sure to use very good quality rubber bands for them to last quite longer. Once you got some durable rubber bands, cut them using the scissors. Tie one end of the rubber band to a whole and then wrap it around the box. Tie the other end on the direct opposite of the hole where you tied the other end of the rubber band. Make sure to make the knots durable and strong.

Step 5: Trace your hands. You need some dragon claw to make your koto a bit more authentic Japanese looking and for you to be able to play it better. For this to happen, you can trace your hand on a cardboard but do not cut it just yet. Draw some claws in the index, thumb, and middle fingers. Each claw should be at least 2.5 inches long. Once you have that done, cut the claws. Then, cut some strips of paper from the construction paper that you have left. Wrap the strips around your fingers that ought to have claws. Glue one end of the paper strip to its other end to secure it in place. Once done, tape each claw to its designated paper strip in your fingers.

Step 6: If you have the claws set up and the rubber bands tight and secure and durable, you are now ready to play your very own Japanese musical instrument – Koto.

Koto In Action

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Soramelo profile image
      Author

      Soramelo 7 years ago

      Thank you KiwiTeam. Made one already?

    • profile image

      KiwiTeam 7 years ago

      Great! Very Interesting!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)