Kengyo Yatsuhashi (1614-1685) is generally credited as popularizing koto music. The story is he was a blind shamisen player in Edo (Tokyo) who was taught the original koto style (tsukushigoto) from a particularly poor player. He went to Kyoto where he formed his own school re-arranging koto pieces (kumuita) for popular tastes, his shamisen background being an influence. This superb 2 CD set of 8 tracks features the earliest compositions played beatifully by Namino Torii. Disc 1 : Umegae, Yuki No Ashita, Kiritsubo, Shiki No Tomo, Disc 2 : Utsusemi, Hashihime, Ougino-kyoku, Hatsuneno-kyoku.