That is the name of this instrument which is made of mulberry wood. This particular instrument has been handed down from teacher to student for 150 years. There are four kinds of Biwa, this is the 'blind monk' kind. The Biwa came to Japan from Persia along the silk road, it's a dying art. This sensei played some Santana on it to demonstrate how nicely it lends itself to modern music. Then a bunch of very proper middle aged Japanese women jumped up and yelled "Freebird". OK, maybe it was just, "Thank you most sincerely, national treasure- san".
After the performance I ate yet another meal that looked back at me.