NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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四ッ竹 Yotudake The Yotsudake Bamboo Instrument

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Yotsudake is a musical instrument from Okinawa, used when performing the Ryukyu dance Chabirasai. Yotsudake, which means 'sorry' in Okinawan, is an instrument where the musician holds 4 pieces of bamboo in each hand and makes sounds by hitting them together. Bamboo is traditionally the sole material for this instrument, but more recently, musicians hold the bamboos in place on their fingers using rubber bands.
   One of the dances in which the yotsudake is used is sometimes called the Yotsudake-odori. Many other beautiful dances by women also incorporate the yotsudake.
   As mentioned before, 'yotsudake' in Okinawan means 'gomenkudasai' ('sorry'). The elegant dancing  and lively sounds of the yotsudake, nicely exemplify the atmosphere and mood of Okinawa. Recently, the yotsudake has been used even in Kyoto, in a new dance called Kyoen-Sodefure, and is a good example of the Ryukyu culture spreading out into the mainland of Japan.
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