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  • Japanese: 一絃琴 (ichigen-kin)

The ichigen-kin (lit. "one string koto") is a one-stringed zither related to the more common 13-string koto.

Originating in the 17th century, the ichigen-kin retained a degree of popularity until the 1920s. It is played using a pair of ivory tubes worn on the fingers, with the middle finger on the left hand used for fingering (gently pressing the string in order to shorten it, controlling the pitch), and the index finger on the right hand plucking the string.


  • Gallery labels, Musical Instruments Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Art.