Samurai Dave: The Roving Ronin Report

Rambling Narrative of Travels, Thoughts, and Embellishments

Rock the VOTE III: Japanese Biwa Player Playing Old Tune

The Roving Ronin Report Presents:

Japanese Biwa Player Playing An Ancient Song of Battle

It’s up for votes on Current TV:

http://www.current.tv/watch/70143572

Please register and vote!

Biwa is a Japanese lute played with a large pick. They are often used to tell old stories such as the Tale of the Heike.

The Tale of the Heike is a long tale about the rise and a fall of the Heike family in the 12th Century. Taira-no-Kiyomori led his family to the highest position in the country. Eventually, their enemies brought them down defeating them in a number of battles.

Dan-no-ura was the site of their last battle. It was a great sea battle and the Heike were completely destroyed. Many of them perished by leaping into the sea including the young emperor.

Centuries later, a blind biwa player, Hoichi, unknowingly played for these restless spirits and almost lost his life as a result. He paid the price with his ears being ripped off by one of these ghosts.

A thunderstorm struck while the biwa player played making me think that perhaps the Heike spirits were still restless.

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June 29, 2007 - Posted by | biwa, Blogroll, culture, current tv, entertainment, folklore, Gempei War, Ghosts, Hauntings, heike monogatari, japan, kwaidan, life, music, samurai, traditional art, travel, TV, video

2 Comments »

  1. BTW the band featured briefly in the title sequence is a Japanese-based band in Nagoya called Sushi Cabaret Club

    Comment by samuraidave | June 29, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hey Samurai Dave,
    this movie is really awesome! Do you happen to know the name of the biwa player, she’s quite exceptional! I was looking around but couldn’t find out what her name was.

    Comment by kyoku | July 25, 2011 | Reply


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