The Japanese biwa is a lute derived from the Chinese pipa and earlier Asian lutes. The Japanese film Kwaidan, based on Lafcadio Hearn’s book about ghosts, includes a story about Hoichi, the blind biwa player. Traditionally, biwa music centers on the Tale of the Heike, a clan war of ancient times.
Very eerie vocalization to be sure.
Here even a gaijin (foreigner) gets in on the action.
Here is the Chinese pipa instrument that preceded the biwa.