Biwa hōshi

The biwa hōshi are the Japanese traveling performers, called “lute priests”, who earned a living by reciting epic war poems and playing the biwa as accompaniment. They were often blind, shaved their heads, and wore the robes of Buddhist monks. There are repeated images and motifs to the poems because the biwa hōshi used certain formulas to try to remember all of the stories.

Sources Cited:
Wikipedia
WUStL