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The Shamisen in Japanese Art and Music – Recorded June 17 2021
The Shamisen in Japanese Art and Music
I was born in 1957 in Tokyo, Japan into an artisan family called TOYOAKIMOTO, traditionally categorized as OKIYA, meaning a booking and training agent for geisha ladies in downtown Tokyo’s designated area. While the economy and social environment forced many of those traditional artisan family businesses to close down in the 1960s, I was fortunately able to receive some of the important essence of traditional Tokyo geisha cultural training and studies at age 4, and became a part of the performing crew in early childhood. After my grandmother passed away, I continued the Tokyo music training until my early teens when I shifted my musical focus to American pop music and experimental music. I was active performer during the early 70s in the midst of the Tokyo underground arts movement. I also became a member of a Japanese experimental music ensemble called GINTENKAI which presented a mixture of traditional music and new western music.
ー Toyoakimoto 豊秋本 ー
The Music of A Tokyo’s Okiya House
I wanted to create the music in the most raw and realistic manner. Something so real and so refined to coexist with roughness and rawness can constitute beauty as in handmade crafts. I longed to be honest in performing this distinctive style of music as I heard and felt it. I would hope that people are still interested in the truth.