Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Dr. Marlene Mayo, emeritus history professor of University of Maryland, sent me an old photograph of little girls playing the koto. My initial reaction was,”Oh, how cute,” but upon close scrutiny, I found they were of the Yamada school of koto music. I could tell because of their oval plectrum. Plus, they are seated perpendicular to the koto, and they were playing on very beautiful kotos with wavy designs on the wood. Plus, the ivory bridges meant it was a special occasion. And it was. Elenor Roosevelt had visited Japan after the war and the little girls were posing for her.