Name: Gottan.
Type: Chordophones > Lutes.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.312.6
Country: Japan.
Region: Far East Asia.

Description: The gottan [in Japanese: ごったん gottan] also known as the hako [“box”] or ita [“board”]. It is a traditional Japanese three-stringed plucked instrument, often considered either a relative or derivative of the sanshin, itself a relative of the shamisen.

Repertoire: The gottan’s musical repertoire is often light and cheerful, including many folk songs. Like the shamisen, it was used for door-to-door musical busking, known as kadozuke. Often the gottan is compared to the kankara. An Okinawan instrument related to the sanshin. Due to its relative inexpensiveness [made from a used metal can] and ease of construction. The equivalent all-wood Okinawan instrument is the ita sanshin.


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