The old BR FAQ by Murray Chapman provides the following information:
“Japan: Traditional Vocal and Instrumental Music, Shakuhachi,
Biwa, Koto, Shamisen”; performed by Ensemble Nipponia, 1976.
Electra Asylum Nonesuch Records/Warner Communications Inc.
(Compact disc; catalog number not available)
The music is produced by plucking on what is called a “biwa” – a traditional Japanese instrument.
The Japanese lyrics are from a song called “Ogi no Mato”, which is, according to FN, “part of a song cycle/epic somewhat reminiscent of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and the William Tell legend (as ‘Ogi no Mato’ features young people from opposing clans and a crucial moment of archery).” Reportedly, “the lyrics tell of the tragic and utter destruction of one Japanese clan by another.”
Posted in: 2. Other Music in BR