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Yokoyama Katsuya

横山 勝也

Yokoyama Katsuya
1934 - 2010/04/21

Shakuhachi

THE WORLD OF KATSUYA YOKOYAMA – By Tomiko KOJIMA, 1980

About four years ago, I suddenly came to a new realization when listening to a recording of Katsuya Yokoyama's performance of "Tsukikusa no Yume ('Dreams of Moonflowers'), a Collection of the Works of Rando FUKUDA. The realization was that of the sweetness of Yokoyama's shakuhachi playing. Up until that time, I had always been surprised to hear the great breadth of expression in his shakuhachi, his ability to give similar passages a completely different character in accordance with the circumstances. And I always wanted to find out what it was that gave him this breadth of expression so different from the shakuhachi playing of other performers.

Here I must make a confession. At one of his recitals, Yokoyama performed a number of rather sugary compositions in the new-Japanese music style and I had to ask myself why anyone like Katsuya Yokoyama would perform such pieces with such enjoyment. I decided it certainly must be a bad influence from his teacher, Rando Fukuda. And for that reason as well, I had no intention of listening to his recording of "Tsukikusa no Yume" but happened to do so only because I received the record.

Certainly, that recording as well was quite sweet, but I realized unexpectedly by listening to it how much it expanded my perspective of Yokoyama's shakuhachi playing. I have always felt that the sound of the futozao shamisen which accompanies gidayu has an extremely deep sweetness which accounts for its very keen and penetrating as well as very passionate power of expression. As the great futozao masters pass away however, it is now becoming increasingly more difficult to hear that futozao sound which reaches the depths of sweetness. And while I frequently yearn for that kind of sound, I realized that the exact same thing can be said about the sound of the shakuhachi.

Yokoyama is also a student of Wadatsumido who almost seems to be at the opposite extreme of Rando Fukuda. I have come to think of the music of Wadatsumido, which emphasizes the spiritual aspect so strongly that, to be frank, I at times wonder if it is not just playing up to the audience, as a modern descendant of Fuke shakuhachi. Yokoyama has been greatly influenced by Wadatsumido and even now he still takes his monthly fee and goes to study with Wadatsumido. It is this spiritually vigorous, sharp and passionate side which overcomes us and draws us in, whether it be in playing a piece of Toru TAKEMITSU's where the sparks fly in exchange with Kinshi TSURUTA’s biwa playing, or making love with a honkyoku piece on stage alone. And it is this side which everyone has come to emphasize as representing Yokoyama's playing style.

However, if Yokoyama's shakuhachi had only that side to it, his variety and breadth of expression could not exist. Rather, it is for the very reason that his experience extends to the very sweet and delicate world of Rando Fukuda that his power of expression overflowing with a strong tension of spirituality can come into existence.

I recently talked with Yokoyama about how he got started in shakuhachi. Yokoyama's grandfather, Koson Yokoyama, was a shakuhachi performer of the Kawase line of the Kinko school. He was also quite renowned as a shakuhachi maker. Yokoyama himself remembers his grandfather as a great fisherman but has no recollection of hearing him play shakuhachi. As a fisherman, his grandfather designed and made all his own fishing equipment and was apparently quite an eccentric in true Meiji Period fashion. He certainly seems to have had a disposition which somehow would be related to Yokoyama.

Yokoyama's father, Ranpo Yokoyama, studied shakuhachi both from his father Koson in the Kinko school as well as becoming a very close student of Rando Fukuda. As for his study of Kinko school, much of it was apparently done by standing outside his home listening to someone else play and stealing their techniques. Yokoyama himself says that "it is only natural to do so. I also learn a lot by listening to other performers."

Yokoyama in turn learned Kinko school and the Azuma school shakuhachi of Rando Fukuda from his father. Although the actual number of lessons was very few, Yokoyama did take several directly from Rando Fukuda when the latter was at a very advanced age. Yokoyama says that he actually began shakuhachi with the study of the Azuma school which was fortunate for him. The reason for that is that the Azuma school has completely free fingerings in which the performer uses any fingerings which produce the note desired. It is a very free way of thinking in regards to performance. Yokoyama says that "the fingerings of the Kinko school, for example, are no doubt the fingering habits of some individual of long ago which have since become fixed. For certain traditional pieces such fingerings are no doubt the most convenient, but for performing newer pieces, the free way of thinking of the Azuma school has been very useful."

At the age of 24, Yokoyama was deeply moved by a performance of Wadatsumido and went to study with him. He still goes for lessons today.

Yokoyama in a sense has a very naive personality, quickly enraptured or deeply moved to tears by someone or something. And it is within this naivety which flows the furious search for shakuhachi music which has spanned three generations, and the ability to perform at such a large and dynamic scale. In the shakuhachi music of Katsuya Yokoyama, the Azuma school, Kinko school and Wadatsumido all come to a splendid unification.

The three-record set, Sangai Rinten, certainly commemorates the fruition of Katsuya Yokoyama's music at this point in time. The first two records in particular give a very refreshing look into Katsuya Yokoyama the composer. To be honest, having heard a recording of "Onku" several years ago, I felt that Yokoyama the performer was rather different from Yokoyama the composer. However, in this present recording, both the newly composed pieces and the older ones have a new freshness to them which indicate that Yokoyama the composer has certainly matured both spiritually and technically.

In recent years, the composing activities of such traditional music performers as Hozan YAMAMOTO, Susumu MIYASHITA, and Tadao SAWAI have become quite extensive suggesting an end to the leadership of the composing of modern pieces by composers trained in Western music and the beginning of leadership by those composers trained in traditional music.

Yokoyama very modestly has said that he has tried composing no matter how bad the result, and when he then plays someone else's composition, he is able to understand and learn a lot about composing. For this record set, in any case, the compositions are all very excellent. And with the better known honkyoku pieces and their superb presentation, it certainly is not an overstatement to say that this set represents Japanese music at its best.

Profile

Born in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan in 1934, he studied shakuhachi of the Kinko school from his grandfather, Koson YOKOYAMA, and his father, Ranpo YOKOYAMA. In 1959, he studied with Rando FUKUDA and Wadatsumido I. In 1961, he formed the Tokyo Shakuhachi Trio with Kohachiro MIYATA and Minoru MURAOKA, and in 1963, the three of them together helped form the Nihon Ongaku Shudan (Ensemble Nipponia) with the intent of creating a new Japanese music using traditional instruments. Then in 1964, he founded the Shakuhachi Sanbon Kai with Reibo AOKI and Hozan YAMAMOTO which cut across school differences in the shakuhachi world.

In November 1967, he performed in New York City in the premiere of Toru TAKEMITSU's "November Steps" with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Seiji OZAWA. Since, he has performed on over eighty different occasions with orchestras in Europe and the United States. He won one of the top awards in the 1973 Japanese Art Festival. He has also performed with the NHK Symphony Orchestra on various occasions including at the opening of the Sydney Opera House and at the 1974 United Nations Peace Concert. He has performed at the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Paris Festival, and today continues his performances and composing both in Japan and abroad.

(English adaptation and translation by Richard Emmert)

Teachers

Students

Albums

Duos for Shakuhachi and Koto Duos for Shakuhachi and Koto

Esprit d'Orient Esprit d'Orient

Also with Tsuruta Kinshi, Miyashita Susumu, and Yokoyama Ranpo

Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Sen Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Sen

Japanese Folk Songs Japanese Folk Songs

Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi

Japon Japon

Japon - Musique Millenaire Japon - Musique Millenaire

Japon L'art du shakuhachi Japon L'art du shakuhachi

Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1 Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1

Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2 Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2

Nihon no Hibiki Nihon no Hibiki

November Steps - Take no Miryoku November Steps - Take no Miryoku

Sanbon no Hibiki Sanbon no Hibiki

Sanbon no kai - with Aoki Reibo II, Yokoyama Katsuya, and Yamamoto Hozan

Sangai Rinten - 1 Sangai Rinten - 1

Sangai Rinten - 2 Sangai Rinten - 2

Sangai Rinten - 3 Sangai Rinten - 3

Shakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya Shakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya

Shakuhachi honkyoku, solo and duets. Also include Pentagonia, a piece by Ichiro Seki for six shakuhachi.

Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1 Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1

Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 2 Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 2

Sounds from Japan Sounds from Japan

Take Ippon II Take Ippon II

Toru Takemitsu Toru Takemitsu

Works for Shakuhachi by Shinichi Yuize - 01 Works for Shakuhachi by Shinichi Yuize - 01

Works for Shakuhachi by Shinichi Yuize - 02 Works for Shakuhachi by Shinichi Yuize - 02

World of Katsuya Yokoyama, The World of Katsuya Yokoyama, The


Yokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette

Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01 Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01

Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 02 Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 02

Tracks Recorded

ShakuhachiAlbum
Aki (Takemitsu)Toru Takemitsu
Azuma JishiJapanese Traditional Shakuhachi
Azuma JishiKatsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2
Azuma Jishi (Taizan Ha)Japon L'art du shakuhachi
Azuma Jishi (Taizan Ha)Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 2
Azuma Jishi (Taizan Ha)Take Ippon II
Azuma Jishi (Taizan Ha)Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 02
BakukataikanTake no Sekai
DahaJapanese Traditional Shakuhachi
DahaJapon
DahaKatsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2
DahaShika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 2
DahaTake Ippon II
DahaZen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 02
Daisan FudoShakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya
EclipsHibiki - Contemporary Music for Japanese Traditional Instruments - 3
EclipsToru Takemitsu
EclipsWorld of Katsuya Yokoyama, The
Futatsu no UtaSangai Rinten - 2
Gekko RotekiTsukikusa no Yume; Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Shu
Gekko RotekiYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi no Shirabe (Kinko Ryu)Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi
Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi no Shirabe (Kinko Ryu)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1
Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi no Shirabe (Kinko Ryu)Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 2
Hi Fu Mi Hachigaeshi no Shirabe (Kinko Ryu)Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 02
Hon ShirabeJapanese Traditional Shakuhachi
Hon ShirabeKatsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1
Hon ShirabeShika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1
Hon ShirabeZen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01
HoshizukiyoTsukikusa no Yume; Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Shu
Jushichigen - Shakuhachi NijusokyokuEsprit d'Orient
KaiShakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya
Kaze DôKineya Seiho Sakuhin Shû
Kaze no Uta (Sawai)Duos for Shakuhachi and Koto
Kikyo Genso KyokuTsukikusa no Yume; Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Shu
Kikyo Genso KyokuYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Koden SugomoriKatsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2
Koden SugomoriSangai Rinten - 3
Koden SugomoriTake Ippon II
Kokû (Dokyoku)Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi
Kokû (Dokyoku)Japon L'art du shakuhachi
Kokû (Dokyoku)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2
Kokû (Fudaiji)Japon
Kokû (Fudaiji)Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 2
Kokû (Fudaiji)Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 02
Kumoi JishiKatsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2
Kumoi JishiShika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1
Kumoi JishiZen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01
Kyôsôteki NijûsôSounds from Japan
Maboroshi wo OuteSounds from Japan
MakiriSangai Rinten - 2
MakiriWorld of Katsuya Yokoyama, The
Midare RinzetsuSounds from Japan
Miyama HigurashiYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Mugibue no KoroTsukikusa no Yume; Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Shu
Mugibue no KoroYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Mushizuki YoYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Ningyo Fudoki (Complete)Hibiki - Contemporary Music for Japanese Traditional Instruments - 4
Nirai no UmiWorld of Katsuya Yokoyama, The
Nocturne for Koto and ShakuhachiSounds from Japan
November Step No. 10Shakuhachi - Chidori No Kyoku
November Step No. 10Toru Takemitsu
November StepsEsprit d'Orient
OnkuSangai Rinten - 2
Pentagonia IIShakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya
Reibo (Dokyoku)Japon L'art du shakuhachi
Reibo (Dokyoku)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2
Reibo (Don't know which version)Take Ippon II
Reibo (Shôganken)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1
Reibo (Shôganken)Take Ippon II
RiriuraSangai Rinten - 2
Sagari Ha (Nezasa Ha)Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi
Sagari Ha (Nezasa Ha)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1
Sagari Ha (Nezasa Ha)Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1
Sagari Ha (Nezasa Ha)Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01
San'anEsprit d'Orient
San'anJapan - Music of the Shakuhachi
San'anJapanese Traditional Shakuhachi
San'anJapon - Musique Millenaire
San'anJapon L'art du shakuhachi
San'anKatsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1
San'anNovember Steps - Take no Miryoku
San'anSangai Rinten - 3
San'anShakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya
San'anShakuhachi Nyumon
San'anShika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1
San'anTake Ippon II
San'anZen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01
San'ya (Dokyoku)Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi
San'ya (Dokyoku)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1
San'ya (Fudaiji)Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 2
San'ya (Fudaiji)Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 02
San'ya (Yama-Tani)Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi
San'ya SugagakiJapon L'art du shakuhachi
San'ya SugagakiSangai Rinten - 3
Sangai RintenSangai Rinten - 1
Seki no AkikazeYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
SekishunDuos for Shakuhachi and Koto
SekishunShakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya
SesshinSangai Rinten - 1
Shigarami No. 2Hibiki - Contemporary Music for Japanese Traditional Instruments - 2
Shigarami No. 2Music of Japan, The - Vol II
Shika no Tône (Don't know which version)Esprit d'Orient
Shika no Tône (Don't know which version)November Steps - Take no Miryoku
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Japan - Music of the Shakuhachi
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Japon
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Japon - Musique Millenaire
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Japon L'art du shakuhachi
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Music of Japan, The - Vol I
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Sangai Rinten - 3
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Shakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1
Shika no Tône (Kinko Ryû)Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01
Shikyoku No 1Duos for Shakuhachi and Koto
ShingetsuKatsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2
ShingetsuShika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 2
ShingetsuSounds from Japan
ShingetsuZen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 02
Shirabe (Nezasa Ha)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2
Shirabe (Nezasa Ha)Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 2
Shirabe (Nezasa Ha)Take Ippon II
Shirabe (Nezasa Ha)Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 02
ShunreiTsukikusa no Yume; Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Shu
ShunreiYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
SokkanJapanese Traditional Shakuhachi
SokkanSangai Rinten - 3
Sue no ChigiriSounds from Japan
Tabibito no UtaTsukikusa no Yume; Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Shu
Tabibito no UtaYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Taki Ochi (Ryogenji)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 2
Taki Ochi (Ryogenji)Take Ippon II
Taki Otoshi no KyokuSangai Rinten - 3
TamukeEsprit d'Orient
TamukeJapanese Traditional Shakuhachi
TamukeJapon - Musique Millenaire
TamukeJapon L'art du shakuhachi
TamukeShakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya
TamukeShika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1
TamukeZen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01
Tone no Funa UtaTsukikusa no Yume; Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Shu
Tone no Funa UtaYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Tsubaki Saku MuraYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Tsukikusa no YumeTsukikusa no Yume; Fukuda Rando Shakuhachi Meikyoku Shu
Tsukikusa no YumeYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Tsuru no Sugomori (Dokyoku)Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi
Tsuru no Sugomori (Dokyoku)Japon
Tsuru no Sugomori (Dokyoku)Japon L'art du shakuhachi
Tsuru no Sugomori (Dokyoku)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1
Tsuru no Sugomori (Dokyoku)Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1
Tsuru no Sugomori (Dokyoku)Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01
UkigumoSangai Rinten - 3
Watazumi no Iroko no MiyaYokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette
Yamagoe (aka Reiho)Japanese Traditional Shakuhachi
Yamagoe (aka Reiho)Japon - Musique Millenaire
Yamagoe (aka Reiho)Japon L'art du shakuhachi
Yamagoe (aka Reiho)Katsuya Yokoyama Plays Shakuhachi - 1
Yamagoe (aka Reiho)Shakuhachi - The Art of Yokoyama Katsuya
Yamagoe (aka Reiho)Shika no Tone Shakuhachi Koten Meikyoku Shusei - 1
Yamagoe (aka Reiho)Zen - Katsuya Yokoyama - 01
YamajiDuos for Shakuhachi and Koto
Yugure Gensokyoku (Rando)Yokoyama Katsuya Plays Fukuda Rando - Boxed Cassette

Composed or Arranged

Shakuhachi Compositions
YearTitleKanjiAlternate Title

Shichikuryoin糸竹呂韻

1964
Onku音句

1972
Sangai Rinten I三界輪転Ⅰ

1974
Konton渾沌

1975
Futatsu no Uta二つの歌

1975
Makiri魔切(または魔斬)

1975, 1981
Sekishun惜春
Lamenting the Passing of Spring
1976
Gaifu凱風

1978
Ririura理里有楽

1978
Ririura Part II理里有楽 Part II

1978
Sesshin接心

1979
Sesshin Part II接心 Part II

1980
Sangai Rinten三界輪転

1980
Sesshin Part III接心 Part III

1982, 1984
Kai

1983
Shunsui春吹

1984
Hyojo no Uta平調の唄

1984
Kokurai虚空籟

1985
The Shakuhachi Musicザ・尺八・ミュージック

1986
Koryu響流

Koto Compositions

Sekishun惜春
Lamenting the Passing of Spring

Publications

TitleKanjiPublisherYearPagesLanguage
Daiyonkai Yokoyama Katsuya shakuhachi risaitaru [Yokoyama Katsuya's Fourth Shakuhachi Recital]

Tokyo: Yokoyama Katsuya1972

Shakuhachi gaku no miryoku [Fascination with Shakuhachi Music]

Tokyo: Kodansha1984


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017