Biwa (biwa - 琵琶)

The biwa is a string musical instrument. It derives from a Chinese lute called pipa, which itself derives from a Persian/Middle Eastern lute called barbat. The biwa reached Japan from China during the Nara Period (710-759 AD).

There are seven types of biwa, chacterized by the number of strings, the sound, the type of plectrum, and the uses.


A biwa [source]
The Godess Benzaiten with her biwa - end of 19th century photo [source]




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