Station #33: Entertainers traveled Japan's roads alongside government officials long before pilgrimage became fashionable and civilians took to the highways in the late 18th century. This group of three female musicains played the shamisen and sang at weddings, festivals, and at New Year's families hired them to bring good luck for the coming year. The shamisen is a three-stringed instrument that can be played in many different styles. During the Tokugawa Period it was frequently used as an accompaniment to chanted legends and for Noh and kabuki plays. Geisha played shamisen in the highest class tea houses. Some styles were banned by the government as being too sensual.
Image Copyright: Minneapolis Institute of Art