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Ryujin is a group that performs music that is representative of the Japanese classical tradition.

The different Japanese classical instruments -- Tsugaru-Shamisen, Wadaiko, Shakuhachi, and Koto--were traditionaly confined to separate genres. Originally Tsugaru-Shamisen provided musical accompaniment to vocal performances or as a free-form improvisational instrument. The Wadaiko was developed to drum out praise of the earth to the heavens. Shakuhachi was originally played by Buddhist monks to symbolize coming in and out of awareness. The Koto has a very long history in Japan--when you hear the sound of the Koto you think of Japan. There are lots of groups that use one or another of the traditional Japanese instruments, but RYUJIN is perhaps the only group that uses these four instruments in combination.

Numerous appearances on stage have shaped the skill, sound, and feelings of these four artists and enabled them to get the most out of each instrument's character. Our aim is to create a new sound, ridding traditional instruments of their crusty image while taking care to keep the important elements of tradition.

RYUJIN is musicians who seek, by speaking through and playing with the sound of their respective instruments, to create a new Japanese sound. The music born of that endeavor is warm, lively, gentle and beautiful...but more importantly, traditional music that can be enjoyed in a fresh way - that's what Ryujin hopes to accomplish.

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