What is Kocarina?

An ethnic wooden musical instrument

  Kocarina was initially called “Ocarina made of the woods from cherry trees” and many Kocarina were sold, as an East European ethnic musical instrument, on the streets in towns in Hungary. Back in 1995, Mr. Kurotaro KUROSAKA, now a leading Kocarina player in Japan, brought this ethnic wooden musical instrument to Japan and named it “Kocarina.”


After that, Mr. KUROSAKA and some Japanese woodworkers improved the musical instrument in many ways into high-precision musical instrument.


In 1998, when Winter Olympic Games were held in Nagao, Japan, a group of children played the Kocarina in its ceremony, and then a great number of people came to know Kocarina for the first time. The Kocarinas used there were made from the trees which had had to be cut down due to the construction of Olympiad Roads in Nagano Prefecture.


Several Kocarinas were also made from an A-Bomb-damaged tree in Hiroshima. This tree had been partially burnt by the A-Bomb dropped there. In 2008, the musical performance by these Kocarinas was adopted in a radio commercial introducing Suntry Hall in Osaka. This radio CM won the Journalist Award in ACC CM Festival, Japan’s largest-scale CM Competition, in the same year. The Journalist Award is the highest award in this competition selected by all the major newspaper companies in Japan.


Now, it is estimated that some tens of thousands of people enjoy playing the Kocarina all over Japan. Kocarina is easy to play, and so different generations from children to the elderly are attracted to play this musical instrument for fun. Also, Kocarina makes gentle wooden tones and warm sounds. Kocarina is getting a lot of attention as the symbolic musical instrument associated with environmental protection.