Hello from Singapore! ✨✨✨


We are KotoKottoN, a koto ensemble based in the National University of Singapore (NUS) founded in 2009 by Kitai Saeko sensei, a Japanese language instructor at NUS Centre Language of Studies and a qualified koto instructor from Sawai Koto School.

Our current members consist of NUS students, alumni and also members of the public who are interested in learning the koto in Singapore.


Recently on 20 January 2024, we performed at the annual Japanese Cultural Festival (JCF) organised by the Japanese Studies Society (JSS) of NUS. The theme of JCF 2024 was 🔥燃えよ!(Let’s Burn!)” 🔥 and we performed 3 passionate songs!


It was drizzling non-stop since the day before but no rain can dampen our passion for koto 🔥🔥🔥


First up was Tsuchiningyo composed by Sawai Tadao sensei in 1972. This elegant piece was performed by 6 current NUS students and out of them, 5 actually only started learning koto last September!

Up next, we got the audience hyped-up with arrangements of Gurenge and Aidoru, both opening theme songs of anime that are super famous even outside of Japan.

Pop songs are not easy to play due to the rhythmic patterns and we struggled quite a bit.

The tuning and bridge shifting for Aidoru was especially tough due to multiple changes of key in the original song. But we managed to pull out the best we could as none of our practices had ever been perfect.

Reflections from performers


🔥 Hazuki san (exchange student from Japan) / Started koto in September 2023

Because it was my first (and gonna be my last 😭) time to play Koto in front of many people, I was honestly nervous and made mistakes in some parts where I don’t usually do badly 😢 But anyways, it was so fun to play Koto with others! ✨ I’m so grateful for having such a wonderful opportunity!


🔥 Xin Yi san (alumni) / Started koto in 2016

The rhythmic patterns of Gurenge and jumping of Aidoru were a challenge but it was fun to be able to play them on koto. I could feel while playing on-stage, that the audience off-stage were excited and hyped-up hearing pieces they know on an instrument they might not know of before today. Though this journey had been tiring, everything was worth being able to see the audience enjoying our performances 🔥🔥


🔥 Jia Xin san (alumni) / Started koto in September 2020

This is the second time I’ve participated in JCF and it was just as exciting as my first performance last year. This year’s pieces were more challenging but the desire to present an unforgettable performance motivated me to practice as much as I could during December (NUS winter break) last year. December was also my last winter break before starting work; I’m glad that I spent it with my fellow club members ♥️

A total of 6 current students and 3 alumni participated in the performance and we have practiced hard since December last year. We definitely enjoyed our time practicing and ensembling and we hope we have also ignited the audiences’ curiosity and interest towards koto and koto music🔥


We look forward to performing at more events and sharing our passion for koto with everyone!


Catch up on our latest action on our Instagram and YouTube 🎶🎶