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While Japanese traditional instruments boast long histories (up to 1,200 years in some cases, since their importation from the Asian continent) most reached their present forms hundreds of years ago and have not changed since.

The conventional 13-string koto, a zither with moveable bridges, is one that has remained essentially unchanged over the centuries. It is also, however, one of the few Japanese instruments that has enough modified versions in use today to guarantee that they won’t go away.

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