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Images from The Beede Gallery

Biwa, Japan, ca. 1900-1940

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NMM 1433. Biwa, Japan, ca. 1900-1940. Short-necked, pear-shaped lute with four strings. Five raised wooden frets. Two crescent-shaped soundholes above decorative strip of brocade that serves as a pickguard. Green, braided tassel tied to pegbox. Biwa music and its practice was used in the training of samurai beginning in the 16th century. The legacy of the biwa, which dates to the late 7th century, nearly disappeared following World War II, as a result of the demise of the samurai tradition in Japan. Board of Trustees, 1976.

NMM 1433.  Biwa, Japan, ca. 1900-1940

Front, Back, and Sides

Bass side view
Treble side

Views of Neck and Pegbox

Front of pegbox

Side view of pegbox

Front and Back Views of Resonator

Front of resonator
Back of resonator





Views of Tailpiece


View underneath tailpiece Another view underneath tailpiece

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Most recent update:   September 21, 2010

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