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...
by Leinad Mc.Gonzo April 15, 2010
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A Japanese stringed instrument resembling a banjo with a long neck and three strings and a fretted fingerboard and a rectangular soundbox; played with a plectrum.
A Shamisen is also called a samisen or a sangen.
by Japanese_Culture July 25, 2011

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