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Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan
Japan Cultural EXPO

Strings for Traditional Musical Instruments
Using the same techniques since the Heian period to produce the strings of traditional musical instruments

Kinomoto-cho Preservation Society for Traditional Instrument Strings

Accredited in 1991
975 Ooto, Kinomoto-cho, Nagahama-shi, Shiga Prefecture 592-0433

This Society preserves the techniques for producing the silk yarn used in the strings of traditional Japanese stringed instruments, such as the shamisen, biwa lute, and kokyū bowed lute. The silk filaments are obtained in their raw form by exposing the cocoons to hot air, instead of immersing them in hot water, in order to kill the pupae. This preserves the sericin protein, giving the silk strings both flexibility and a beautiful sheen.

Extracting the silk filaments
Extracting the silk filaments (Pulling silk from the cocoon)
Extracting the silk filaments
Finishing (Attaching ties in two places)