The plucking of the strings and singing of songs passed down can be heard coming from Jikoen on Wednesday nights. The sanshin group that started out at Norman’s house has outgrown his Manoa home and has found a new one at Jikoen, offering classes to anyone interested, from beginners to the advanced. Beginners meet at 630-730pm, and the advanced class follows.
Some participants have brought their family sanshin that have been passed down from their grandparents. A few have even been left in cases or closets until members decided it was time to learn what their ancestors did. This has brought back life to the once unused and forgotten family sanshin, and the plucking of its strings bring back the voice of this instrument that is a symbol of Okinawan life and culture.
The mixing of ages in the class brings exchange and sharing that erases any generation gap as everyone plays and helps each other. The calm encouragement by Norman sensei and the advanced members makes the beginners feel at ease and less stressed.