Showing results

Hide images


The shamisen is a traditional Japanese three-string spike lute with a bloated-square-shaped resonator that is covered on top and back with animal skin. This example was built with a single-piece neck and has three friction, fluted pegs made of wood. The brass string attached is not original of this type of instrument, which uses silk strings. The tailpiece and bridge are missing.

  • Culture:
  • Period:
  • Materials:
  • Specific materials/techniques:
  • Decorative elements:
  • Inscriptions:
  • Hornbostel-Sachs category:321.312 Spike box lutes or spike guitars
  • Repository:Swindon Museum & Art Gallery
  • Measurements:Height: 945mm; Width: 200mm; Depth: 90mm