Saturday, 9 July 2011

Kankara Sanshin

At the heart of Okinawan music is the three-string Sanshin, and its popular version the Kankara Sanshin. While the Sanshin has a five hundred year artisan tradition, the scarcity of materials after WWII prompted the birth of the colorful, do-it-yourself Kankara version, made from tin cans (“kankara” means literally “from a can”) and parachute strings. Now Machidaya’s ready-made Kankara is reawakening the popularity of this spirited Okinawan emblem.

Light and easily mobile, the Kankara is the ideal accessory for campfire outings and beach holidays, not to mention a key discovery for collectors of exotic musical instruments. The Kankara is anything but plain, choose from one of four colorful bands below in traditional Okinawan textiles.


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