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One of the Best Shamisen Player in Japan, Eihachiro Okina


KARAKURIJAPAN introduces traditional Japanese cultures and crafts day by day. We intend many people to know excellence of Japan through traditional Japanese culture.

As one of these activities, we introduce shamisen. Shamisen is a representative Japanese stringed instrument which is born in 15th to 16th century. It’s highly evaluated overseas because of its beautiful sound.

KARAKURIJAPAN invites instructors for each field of culture. And we invited Eihachiro Okina, a representative Japanese shamisen player.

I’ll introduce the shamisen instructor, Eihachiro Okina.


One of the Best Shamisen Players in Japan, Eihachiro Okina




He is from Kokura, Kitakyushu city, Fukuoka prefecture. Ha was taught shamisen by Yasuhiro Hashimoto in 1996 and after that he has built his career little by little. Now he plays the shamisen as a regular member of Japanese Folksong Professional Society. He is known as one of the best shamisen players in Japan.

He has got many awards and records. You can see how he is amazing by his career.

Got Class B Champion (25th) at tsugaru-jamisen Hirosaki tournament, got Award of Excellence at tsugaru-jamisen Hibiya tournament, and played the shamisen at concerts as a member of backing bands for famous singers such as Ikuzo Yoshi and Aya Shimazu.

Also, he plays at various concerts, and shows his skill overseas as well.

So he should be one of the best shamisen players in Japan.


How did he Get Involved with Shamisen?




Most shamisen players start playing influenced by their fathers or grandfathers. They play shamisen as the second or third generation.

However, in his case, it’s a little different. He started it because her mother wanted him to do something rare. Despite of our expectation, he didn’t use to like playing it.

Now he plays shamisen at various places in Japan. What does he think is the attractive point of shamisen?


The Attractive Point of Shamisen that Mr. Okina Thinks




He says that about the attractive point of shamisen.


Shamisen has fascination that players can express themselves through it.

I often play tsugaru-jamisen ad lib for each piece of music,

so I can express my honest feelings of each changing time,

depending on how I feel at the time, and how I want listeners to feel.


He says that he feels pleasure when listeners feel pleasure by his shamisen.



There are various genres of shamisen, and he plays some of them. He says he wants to be the best player in any genres. You can see his passion towards shamisen from his words.



KARAKURIJAPAN Tells Excellence of the Traditional Japanese Culture, Shamisen




KARAKURIJAPAN introduces how to play the shamisen as one of the traditional Japanese techniques. It looks difficult to start compared with other instruments, but he says you will get to play well little by little in practice.

And also he says he wants you to try many things with fun of playing.


Shamisen has beautiful unique sound which other instruments don’t have. The sound is the most fascinating point of the instrument shamisen. Please enjoy the representative Japanese stringed instrument, shamisen through KARAKURIJAPAN.

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