Traditional music in Japan has many different styles and types. Gagaku is ancient court music from China and Korea. It is the oldest type of Japanese, traditional music. Biwagaku is music played with the instrument Biwa a kind of guitar with four strings. Nogaku is music played during No performances. It consists of a chorus, the hayashi flute, the Tsuzumi drum and other instruments. Sokyoku is music played with the instrument Koto. The Koto is a zither with 13 strings. Shakuhachi is music played with the instrument Shakuhachi it  is about 55 cm long flute. Shamisenongaku is music played with the instrument shamisen a kind of guitar with only 3 strings. Minyo are Japanese folk songs.
Kabuki is a traditional Japanese form of theater. These plays are about historical events, moral conflicts in love relationships and the like. Bunraku is traditional Japanese puppet theater. It is closely related to Kabuki and Bunraku  is accompanied by the music of traditional Japanese music instruments. Pure Japanese music called Kokufu kabu or Japanese Song Dance is vocal music with instrumental accompaniment. Shomyo is a vocal music used in Buddhist services and became a very significant source of Japanese vocal music which developed later.  There are different types of traditional songs for children in Japan including Lullabies, play songs, and festival songs. Songs for smaller children since older times are about rope-skipping, kite-flying, cat’s cradle, battledore and shuttlecock and hide-and-seek.

Keiko Matsui
The song on this page called The Ring is performed by Keiko Matsui and was released on her cd The Ring. She was born on July 26, 1961. She is an icon of contemporary jazz and a composer. She has been around for 3 decades. With her music she blends both Western and Eastern musical influences. Here is just a couple of her other songs that can be found on her cd The Ring.


Keiko Matsui



Tours and The Entertainment

Mount Fuji

Climbing Mount Fuji

Roppogni Nights

Roppogni Nights Vacation Tour

Roppogni Nights Tokyo Sightseeing Tour


Bunkamura (Multi-media center)

Sapporo Olympic Memorial at the Winter Sports Museum

Winter Sports Muesum

Fukuoka City Museum

Fukuoka City Muesum

Toei Uzumasa Eigamura Movie Museum

Toei Uzumasa Eigamura




Japan History