The shamisen is a 3 stringed Japanese instrumentis played with a plectrum called a bachi. Similar to a banjo in sound and construction style as well as how they are played.
Originating in the early 16th century and spanning onwards,
the Shamisen has been a prevelant instrument in japanese music.
Dude, look over there! Some guy's playing a Shamisen!
I wonder where the heck he got it...