The japanese folk music it has a strong influence from its Asian neighbors. The gagaku is the greatest example. This genre was transmitted from the Korean peninsula and was associated with Shinto rituals that were mixed with regional Japanese songs. The musicians who currently perform in the Music Department of the Imperial Palace are direct descendants of the guild’s founders in the 8th century.
The instruments that play the gagaku there are several. The biwa, that it is a short-neck lute with four strings, and that it is played with a large pick; the koto, which is a kind of horizontal harp with thirteen strings and two meters in length; the sakuhachi, a five-hole bamboo flute; and the shamisen, which is a three-stringed lute and was also used for theater kabuki or the puppet theater.
Outside of traditional music, a genre that has been successful in Japan and abroad has been the J-Pop. Usually the members of these gangs are found by talent scouts. They are then subjected to a training process before making their debut. Many of them then dedicate themselves to appearing in commercials or television shows before retiring. An example of this type of star is Matsuda Seiko, who continues to get hits.
Finally, there are several examples of Western classical music composers and conductors, such as Dan ikuma, author of the opera Yuzuru, or Toru takemitsu, self-taught composer. Director Ozawa Seiji, the violinist Goto midori and the pianist Uchida mitsuko are internationally recognized performers.