Biwa Hoshi (Biwa-playing Minstrel) (琵琶法師)

The term "biwa hoshi" represents blind priests who played the biwa (a Japanese lute) in a town, and they first appeared in the Heian period. The style called heikyoku, chanting the Heike Monogatari (The Tale of the Heike) to the accompaniment of a biwa, was established in the Kamakura period.

This term represents blind priest performers who vocationally play the biwa. They appeared in the middle of the Heian period. In the Kamakura period, they formed two groups: one was moso-biwa (which literally means "a blind priest's biwa"), who mainly chanted the Buddhist scriptures, and the other one was Heike-biwa, who chanted the Heike Monogatari. Refer to 'Heikyoku' in the Heike Monogatari.

[Original Japanese]