Japanese “Shamisen” or “Samisen” is a instrument of lute family which bas 3 strings. Its special features are as thus, its frame is stretched with cot skin, and its strings are plucked by very large plectrum called “Bachi” The direct ancester of Japanese Shamisen is chinese “Sansien” invented in Gen-dynasty (about 13th century) . Chinese “Sansien” also has 3 strings, but its frame is stretched with snakes kin. About 1392 A. D. Chinese Sansien was brouglht to Loochou islands by many Fukian's merchants who imigrated to Loochou. But it passed off for the time without any reform. In the beginning of the 16th Century, a great genius of Loocbou mnsic “Akainko” applied Chinese Sansien to Loochou songs, hence Loochou Shamisen music arose and spread to Loochou islands. In the middle of 16th. Century, many Japanese merchants, especially of Hakata (in kyushu) and Sakai (in the south of Osaka city) went to Loocbou islands to trade, and brought the Loochoo Shamisen to Japan. In Hakata, the Loochou Shamisens were played by the blind monk Biwa-players, when snake skin was breaked, the Loochou Shamisen was threw away. But in Sakai. Loochou Shamisens were played by Gipsy Biwa-players, when snake skin was breaked, in place of snake skin cat skin was used, so Japanese shamisens were completed and those spread in Japan.
The flow of music from Persia and India to East Asia began in the Han dynasty (ca second century B. C.) , became flourishing in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (fifth and sixth centuries) , and reached its climax in the the Sui and T'ang dynasties (seventh to ninth centuries) . We find in the p'i-p'a 琵琶 (lute) the most representative example of this stream eastward of western music. The author has published his opinion on this theme in an article, “The origin of the p'i-p'a with particular reference to the five-stringed p'i-p'a preserved in the Shostiin. ” The outline of this opinion is as follows: