Betty Murakami collection


general material designation


[artefactual material]


22 objects


scope and content


This collection consists of Betty Murakami's shamisen and its accessories.






When Betty Murakami was nineteen years old she began to take shamisen lessons. This was because Tomi Tonogai, an odori and shamisen teacher, had began teaching classes in the large home of Betty's family. Not only did Betty play the instrument but she also sang the story as she played which the dancers depicted in the odori. Betty was given a top quality used shamisen by Tomi Tonogai who had studied in Japan at a famous school which taught the Wakayari Ryu. The shamisen had an authentic cat gut sound box and the three strings. They both held many recitals in Vancouver prior to the evacuation of the Japanese Canadians. Betty never played the shamisen again although she took it with her to Greenwood, 70 Mile House and brought it back to Vancouver.








Nikkei National Museum