Meaning of koto in English:


Pronunciation /ˈkəʊtəʊ/


  • A Japanese zither about six feet long, with thirteen strings passed over small movable bridges.

    ‘young nobles played the flute and the koto until dawn’
    • ‘Japanese koto music’
    • ‘By high school he was proficient at the koto, viola, clarinet and electric guitar.’
    • ‘They were playing a loop of anonymous koto music that was rather soothing.’
    • ‘Performances of the koto are also featured in the evenings in early April.’
    • ‘The shakuhachi is usually played solo or with the koto.’
    • ‘She stood up and returned the picks to their sack; then carefully - almost reverently - replaced the koto on the shelf.’


Late 18th century Japanese.