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KAZUYUKI SHIOTAKA “The Tradition of Japanese Biwa Music”


The beginnings of the Japanese biwa can be traced through the Silk Road originating with the Persian barbud (lute) from the early 3rd century and making its way to central China (pipa) during the Tang dynasty of the 7th century. Entering Japan during the Nara Period (8th century), the Japanese gaku biwa established itself as one of the main instruments of Japanese imperial court music (gagaku). During the Kamakura Period (12th century) a new style, the heike biwa, emerged with many of the musical compositions reflecting traditional tales. Both the satsuma and chikuzen biwa traditions began later during the Edo Period (17th century) establishing many advanced performance techniques and a new delicate style of singing.  For this musico-historical journey of the biwa, Mr. Shiotaka will discuss these traditions with several performances on various types of biwa instruments.


From classical works in the traditional vein to modern compositions, Kazuyuki Shiotaka draws a wide audience for his music in Japan and abroad. Focusing on a more intimate solo concert style, Shiotaka performs regularly in halls and salons. He has also sought out venues in historic, culturally significant locations, often deeply linked with the biwa and its music. These include the sacred Kumano and Koyasan areas, as well as Itsukushima Shrine and the Akama Shrine. Aside from concert tours to countries along the Silk Road including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia, Shiotaka has performed by invitation at institutions such as Stockholm University and London City University. In Japan academic lecture appearances include Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Meiji University and Konan Women’s University. A native of Shizuoka Japan, Shiotaka has released six CDs. See his website here:








熊野・高野山・厳島神社・赤間神宮(壇ノ浦)など琵琶楽と深い関わりや歴史を持つ場所でのソロ公演を数多く開催。人間国宝 寶山左衛門 津村禮次郎など、ジャンルを越えた共演者と共演し、平和運動家ジェツンペマ氏の講演会などにも招かれる等、音楽という枠を超え「文化」という視点で幅広く活動している。



Earlier Event: October 2
AGA Taiko Classes
Later Event: October 6
Japanese Reiki Treatment Courses