The Overseas Department has published new practice manuals for the koto, kokyu, and shamisen, the three musical instruments played by women in Tenrikyo services. These manuals are in a way split editions of this department’s Mikagura-uta: Practice Manual for the Women’s Musical Instruments. Originally published in 1977, the earlier work contains notations for the three musical instruments as well as English and Portuguese explanations. In fact, however, the new manuals, produced with substantial help from experts in the United States, are more than mere split editions as a great deal of effort was put into making them easier to use. For instance, the explanations preceding the notations were almost entirely rewritten, with new diagrams included. Also, a bigger font size was chosen for the Mikagura-uta text, and irregular parts requiring special caution are now clearly indicated.
The new Portuguese editions of the three manuals were published earlier this year.