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The Traditional in the Contemporary — Ninety years of Japanese compositions

September 16, 2016, 7:30 pm

$5 – $12

The Traditional in the Contemporary — Ninety years of Japanese compositions informed by traditional techniques and sensibilities

  • Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, shakuhachi
  • Mika Kimula, vocalist
  • Hidejirō Honjō, shamisen
  • Mari Yoshihara, piano


  1. Vocal solo: Uguisu, Hayasaka Fumio, Lyrics by Satō Haruo (1944)

  2. Shakuhachi solo: Kakurin, Hirose Ryohei (1975)

  3. Shamisen solo: Neo – for Shamisen, Dai Fujikura (2014)

  4. Voice, shamisen & shakuhachi: San Juan-sama no Uta, Takahashi Kumiko (2015)

  5. Voice and shamisen: Rikugien (from In The Gardens of Japan, by Kenny Fries), Takahashi Kumiko (2016)

  6. Voice, piano & shakuhachi, The Rain at Jōgashima Island: Hashimoto Kunihiko, lyrics by Kitahara Hakushū (1928)

  7. Shakuhachi and piano: Tears of Heaven: Michael Reimann (1986)

  8. Voice, piano and shakuhachi: Shi-te-ten (from Three Songs from Medieval Japan): Kikuko Massumoto (1980)


$12 general admission, $8 seniors, UH faculty/staff/students (UH ID required), $5 UHM music majors


Christopher Yohmei Blasdel began the shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with Goro Yamaguchi. In 1982 he received an MFA in ethnomusicology from Tokyo University of Fine Arts and received his professional name “Yohmei” from Yamaguchi in 1984. Performing in Japan and around the world, Blasdel maintains a balance between traditional shakuhachi music, modern compositions and cross-genre work with musicians, dancers, poets and visual artists. This semester Blasdel is teaching a course in Japanese music at the UHM Music Department.

Mika Kimula specializes in Japanese song – both in the traditional and modern styles – composed during the process of Westernization and modernization of post 19th Century Japan. Involved in theater groups, at age 17 she began to question why there was no convincing usage of the voice and Japanese language in Japanese contemporary theater and music. Kimula began exploring various ways to utilize the voice and entered the Vocal Department of the Tokyo National University of Music and Fine Arts where she studied Italian classical and modern songs and performed experimental works using Japanese words and lyrics.

Hidejiro Honjo is an award-winning shamisen performer. Honjo studied under Hidetaro Honjoh and graduated from the Japanese Toho Gakuen College of Drama and Music, where he currently teaches. Honjo primarily specializes in modern music and performs with the international contemporary ensemble groups and orchestras. This year he received an Asian Cultural Council award to study in New York City.

Mari Yoshihara is a scholar of American Studies with a specialization in U.S. cultural history, U.S.-Asian relations, literary and cultural studies, and gender studies. She is also an accomplished pianist who gives annual recitals in Honolulu and participates in festivals.


September 16, 2016
7:30 pm
$5 – $12
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Music at Mānoa


Orvis Auditorium at UH Mānoa
2411 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822 United States
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