Kato-bushi is a style of Japanese traditional narrative music, called Joruri, accompanied by the shamisen, which is three-stringed banjo-like lute. It was created in 1717 by Masumi Kato (1684-1725) of Tokyo, which was called Edo at that time. He first studied Handaya-bushi, an earlier style of Joruri, under its originator Handaya Edo (who died around 1743).
Because of its stylish, sophisticated and delicate melodies of pure Edo origin, Kato-bushi was favored by intellectuals, the wealthy, as well as some government officials and their samurais of the Edo period. Competing with other Joruri styles of that time, Kato-bushi flourished in Edo and influenced other music styles of that time.
However, in the last century Kato-bushi has become more or less obsolete and has been preserved by a limited number of professional musicians in Tokyo up to the present time.