abcteach                      Make a Koto                  Japan

A Koto is a traditional instrument of Japan.  It is made of wood and has strings drawn from one end to the other. The parts of the Koto are named after parts of a dragon. The Koto, according to the Japanese tradition is shaped like a dragon laying on the ground.  The instrument is played with tusume (dragon claws) which are on three fingers; index, middle, and thumb. (Like picks of a guitar)

Project: Make A Koto

You will need:
A long narrow box or shoe box with lid
Large rubber bands
constructions paper or wrapping paper
glue or tape, scissors
hole punch
small pieces of cardboard


1. Cover the box and lid with paper.  If you use plain paper, color and  design the paper before covering it.
2. Cut an oval hole in the lid of your box.
3. Punch several holes on each side of the oval (the same number on each side).
4. Loop one end of a rubber band through a hole and loop through the rubber band again to fasten (slip knot).
5. Take the other end of that same rubber band and stretch across the oval to the matching hole on the other side and fasten.  Do this for all the holes.
6. With your pieces of card board cut out three inch long claws.
7. Glue or tape these claws to paper rings that fit around your fingers. 
8. Play your instrument.