Voice, Wood, Silk Strings

Nobuko Fukatsu, Biwa & Voice


Nobuko Fukatsu is a Biwa player based in Los Angeles. She performs at various cultural gatherings, festivals, educational settings, and also in entertainment media music. Click here to meet Nobuko.


About Biwa

Biwa is a 4 or 5-stringed Japanese lute, brought to Japan via the Silk Road in the 8th century. In its long history, it developed into an accompanying instrument for narrative music. Click here to learn more about the biwa.


Biwa in America

Some Japanese immigrants in the early 20th century brought biwas over to the United States with them, and played for their fellow people. Biwa performances were held even in the internment camps during WWII. Click here to read hidden stories.



An excerpt from the 13th century epic The Tale of Heike, describing a famous scene where a young archer Nasu-no-Yoichi Munetaka of the Genji faces a challenge posed by the Heike.


An excerpt from The Tale of Heike, describing a scene where the Heike burned down temples and the Great Buddha in the old capital Nara.


An excerpt from The Tale of Heike, describing a scene where the Heike flee from the ancient fort Dazaifu where they had hoped to settle down after fleeing from the capital Kyoto.


What’s New

12/19/22 Video “The Flight from Dazaifu” from The Tale of Heike posted | 動画・平家物語より『大宰府落』公開しました

5/5/22 Joined Kurosawa-inspired samurai game “Trek to Yomi” soundtrack | ゲーム『Trek to Yomi』のサウンドトラックに参加しました

11/27/21 Hidden Story #1 Biwas that survived Japanese-American Internment posted | 隠れた物語(1)『強制収容を乗り越えた琵琶』公開しました

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