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The original japanese scenery, where people live. Adversity, Trials, meets and farewells. This is the place where the Shamisen of Tsugaru is born.
Nitaroh (Nitaboh) was born to a poor family of a waterman, Santaro, (a man who let people on his boat and help them to cross a river) living in Kanbara, in rural Aomori prefecture, at the very northern tip of Japan°«s main land. Nitaroh had an extremely humble background which was out of "shinokosho" (a class distinction in the Edo Period. Shi, no, ko and sho each means samurai, peasant, craftspeople and merchant.) Nitaroh°«s mother died just after his birth. In spite of being in such a sorry plight, he was a healthy child. However, when he was 8 years old, he caught smallpox which was an epidemic at that time and lost his eyesight. Nonetheless, he was looking for his way through life with an interest to flute and Shakuhachi (traditional Japanese bamboo flute).
One day, Nitaroh was fascinated by Tamana's shamisen performance, who was a goze, a blind woman playing the shamisen and singing for her living, and asked her to learn the instrument with his father, Santaroh's help. Tamana was on a half way of her trip with her daughter, Yuki, however, she decided to stay at Kanbara for a while and teach Nitaroh her shamisen performance. After finished teaching him, they had traveled for their lives again.
When he was 11 years old, he had a misery again. His father, Santaroh, had gone. He had no parent and relative, however, decided to make his living on the shamisen learned by Tamana and had grown up with great help of Tomekichi who was like a brother to him and Omatsu who ran a doss house near the ferry in the villeage.
Time had passed and Nitaro's fame increased around Kanagi. But the clan, Todoza, protected by the shogun, tried to get him into troubles. The Todoza was dissolved after the creation of the prefectures but had still a great influence. Jealous of Nitaro's fame they created a conflict. At the time, Nitaro met once again Yuki, the Goze Tamana's daughter who tought him the shamisen. Yuki would become the gardian of his heart.
Nitaroh tried to play the shamisen to please his audience and his performance was changed to the one which is like beating the drum hard. He broke the strings of shamisen or the shamisen itself during his performance and found out that the ordinary shamisen (Hosozao) was not enough strong for his performance.
When he had an opportunity to listen to the Gidayu at Hirosaki, he wanted to have Futozao (which was much stronger than Hosozao) for his performance, however, it ' s too expensive for him to get it.
On the other hand, Kikunosuke who was a son of a rich sake brewing merchant was back to Tsugaru after finished studying in Tokyo and worried about his way, whether to suceed his father ' s business or to do a new business of newspaper publishing. He met with Nitaroh and was fascinated by Nitaroh ' s life, that was Nitaroh ' s choise itself and had never been changed due to troubles, and decided to go to America in order to study the business administration of newspaper company. Before leaving from Jaoan, he gave Nitaroh a Futozao to make Nitaroh ' s dream true.
In order to repay Kikunosuke ' s favor, Nitaroh had to master the Futozao performance. However, it was too hard for him to master it since this was the first time and nobody had tried it. He woried and worried, lost his way of the shamisen performance and finally decided to try a strict discipline called Itako during which he was not allowed to sleep and eat at all. After 7 days and 7 nights strict discipline, he attained the state of selflessness. Nitaroh started to create a new world of the shamisen, then, Tawaraboh, a genius in a decade, asked him a match of the shamisen in order to keep Todoza ' s pride and stability.
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