TonkoriTonkori is a string instrument that was played by the East Asian ethnic groups of Hokkaido known as the Ainu people. However, it’s assumed that this instrument was developed in Sakhalin, an island in Russia. It has 5 strings and 2 bridges, one at the top and the other at the bottom. This plucked instrument does not have any frets and is played open.

The Tonkori is about 120 centimeters tall and 10 centimeters wide. Its body is made of wood and its strings are made of vegetable fiber, tendon, and gut. It’s placed at an angle across the player’s chest with strings facing outwards and its strings are plucked using both the hands from opposite sides.

Word has it, the instrument’s overtures scare away demons and evil spirits before the song is played. A few people associate the shape of Tonkori to that of a woman. Moreover, a pebble or a bead that is placed inside the hole of the instrument’s trunk is believed to represent the soul of the instrument.