When you think of Japanese instruments, you may be familiar mostly with the koto, shakuhachi, and shamisen, as well as how they can be used to give popular music a beautiful and traditional Japanese twist. Thanks to Twitter user @wyrm06, many even in Japan are now discovering an otherworldly rippling instrument that they had never heard of before called the Hamon Slit Drum. With 70,000 tweets, many are surprised to find out that the pings and echoes of the Hamon Slit Drum actually come from a Japanese instrument.

Of course, the Hamon is very similar to the Russian RAV Drum (seen below), along with several other types of "spacedrums." Where the Hamon Slit Drum differs is that the cracks in each drum are completely unique to that particular instrument, meaning each drum offers a different combination of sounds for the musician to make their personal stamp with. And while it obviously borrows from other cultures, the drum is actually most directly inspired by a Japanese musical garden ornament (or water harp hollow) called the suikinkutsu.

The drum was invented by Teppei Saito, who crafted the original instrument after being inspired by the sounds the suikinkutsu makes. You can check out the musical tones a suikinkutsu makes in the early part of the video below, and compare it to the Hamon Slit Drum in action.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.