Mouth organ (sho)

Mouth organ (shō)

Fujiwara Masaoki (Japanese, active early 18th century)

Object Place: Yawata, Japan


Height 49.5 cm, diameter 7.2 cm (Height 19 1/2 in., diameter 2 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, bamboo, silver, lacquer

On View

Musical Instrument Gallery (Gallery 103D)


Asia, Musical Instruments



Wind chamber of gold-lacquered wood, decorated with chrysanthemum blossoms. Short, elliptical mouthpiece, covered at end with plate of silver. Seventeen pipes of bamboo, three with finials of silver, all held in place by ring of silver.


Inscriptions on one of the pipes indicate that the instrument was made in 1715, apparently by a Shinto priest, of the rank of Negi, named Fujiwara Masaoki for the Iwashimizu Shrine.


Before 2002, sold by source unidentified, Japan, to a gentleman; by 2002, gift of the family of a gentleman to Steven Wayne, Newburyport, Massachusetts; 2002, sold by Wayne to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 26, 2002)

Credit Line

Foster Charitable Fund, Samuel Putnam Avery Fund, Frank M. and Mary T.B. Ferrin Fund, John Wheelock Elliot and John Morse Elliot Fund, Alice M. Bartlett Fund, and Joyce Arnold Rusoff Fund