The biwa is the Japanese version of the lute with its origins in Japan and India dating back to around the 3rd century. By the 10th century, two blind priests had developed styles in the south of Kyushu, founding the main schools of Chikuzan and Satsuma. Originally singing priests would travel from village to village singing a kind of magic sutra for an angry god. During the Kamakura period (1185-1333) the great narrative tradition, heikebiwa was founded, with the Tale of the Heike becoming an important literary and musical genre. The biwa has a twangy sound, due to its long elastic strings, when amplified by the body producing the characteristic 'rattle' or 'sawari'. This excellent CD features five of the best known biwa repertroire played by the instrument's most famous exponents. 1.Ibaraki 2.Dannoura 3.Gion Shoja 4.Yoshinoyama 5.Fue to Biwa no Tameno Gyo.