The Koto is a string instrument that originated in China and came to Japan in the 7th ¨C 8th century. The Japanese Koto is a large instrument, about six feet long. This rare smaller version of Koto from Meiji Period (1868~1911) is 21 inches long, 4 inches wide and 2 ½ inches tall. It has a hollow body made from Kiri wood, underneath the body are two sound holes, one at each end. There are 13 strings which are tied over at each end of the body. We are not sure if this small Koto was made for children or decoration only, but the workmanship is superb and accurate. It has four carved boxwood legs. The two ends are made of inlayed hardwood, the rims are inserted with bone (or ivory) and the surface is decorated with tortoise shell and silk brocade. It is in excellent condition.