Gorō Yamaguchi

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Gorō Yamaguchi
Born(1933-02-26)February 26, 1933
Tokyo, Japan
Origin Japan
DiedJanuary 3, 1999(1999-01-03) (aged 65)
GenresJapanese classical
LabelsJapan Victor, Nonesuch

Gorō Yamaguchi (山口 五郎; February 26, 1933 – January 3, 1999)[1][2] was a Japanese shakuhachi player, known for his musicality, phrasing, impeccable technique (and modesty) in both solo and ensemble performances. He headed the Chikumeisha shakuhachi guild and became a world-famous Japanese performer and teacher. In 1967–1968 he was appointed Artist in Residence at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, United States, along with his wife, Yamada-school koto performer Namino Torii.[3]

While at Wesleyan, Nonesuch Explorer Series recorded his A Bell Ringing In The Empty Sky LP,[4] an influential first recording of shakuhachi in the United States. NASA included one honkyoku from that LP, "Tsuru No Sugomori" (Nesting of Cranes), on the Voyager Golden Record which was sent into space.

In 1992, the Japanese government designated Yamaguchi a Living National Treasure (Ningen Kokuhô).

Major recordings[edit]

  • Shakuhachi no Shinzui: Shakuhachi Honkyoku (Soul of Shakuhachi: Shakuhachi Honkyoku). Solo performance of complete Kinko school honkyoku repertoire: 38 compositions on 12 CDs. Boxed set with 44-page booklet. Japan Victor VZCG-8066-8077.
  • Shakuhachi no Shinzui: Sankyoku Gassô (Soul of Shakuhachi: Trio Ensemble). Ensemble performances with voice, koto, and shamisen. Four CDs in boxed set with 44-page booklet. Japan Victor VZCG-8078-81.

Audio link[edit]