Seventeen Genshukai members arrived on Saipan last week to play a traditional Japanese instrument to sooth the souls of people who died during World War II.
The Genshukai group, which arrived last Monday, played at Banzai Cliff in Marpi with their group instruments called taishogoto, also called the Nagoya harp, which is a Japanese stringed musical instrument.
Taishogoto consists of a long, hollow box with strings running its length. Above the strings are a span of numbered typewriter-like keys, which when depressed fret or shorten the strings to raise their pitch. It is played lengthwise and strummed.
Pacific Development Inc. director Gordon I. Marciano said that their chairman, Genshu Kurachi, led them and the group are from Tokai 3 prefectures in Aichi, Gifu, and Mie in Japan.
“This is his second visit to Saipan together with the 17 members. He played at Banzai Cliff last Tuesday and Wednesday and flew overnight to Tinian. They conducted a Tinian Japan Friendship goodwill Taisho Koto concert at Kammer Beach,” Marciano said.
Kurachi said that he first visited Saipan about 33 years ago. His mother suggested that he play the taishogoto to ease the souls of people who died during the war on Saipan. His mother’s brother also perished in the war on Saipan and was only 22 years old.
“It is our great pleasure to have the opportunity to play taishogoto at the beautiful islands of Saipan and Tinian. Genshukai introduces the beautiful Japanese sound of taishogoto to not only in Japan but also overseas,” Kurachi said.
“We visited the U.S., Australia, Russia, the Czech Republic, Thailand, and Hungary and established our good friendship. We hope for world peace and expand our friendship,” he added.
Kurachi and his group left Saipan last Thursday.