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The International Shakuhachi Society

Yonekawa Toshiko

米川 敏子

Yonekawa Toshiko
Born 1913/02/02

Koto

YONEKAWA Toshiko, living national treasure.
By TOKUMARU Yosihiko

Born 1913 in Himezi city, Hyogo prefecture, as the eldest daughter of Yonekawa Kin'o (1883-1969). She received lessons of koto and sangen from her farther. He was the first Ikuta school koto and sangen player who started artistic activity in Tokyo in Taisyo period (1912-1926). He himself was an excellent musician and performed traditional repertoire with a striking accuracy in pitches and rhythms. He was also creative in composition, inventor of the low-registered 13-stringed koto and inventor of new notations for koto and sangen.

Educated by such a creative farther, Yonekawa Toshiko showed her progress even while she was a primary school pupil. It was very natural that she performed in a public concert when she was only 8 years old. She was only 12 years old when her performance was broadcast by nation wide radio. In addition to her performing activity, she began to compose. With her initial work Kokemizu ('Water running through moss') (No 1) she showed her talent as composer. Soon after that in 1942 she became recipient of the Education Minister's Award by her work Ohaguruma ('Sacred palaquin') (No. 10). When she published her epoch-making composition, Tidori to asobu Teiko ('Tieko playing with plovers') (No. 33), in 1953, she was given the Art Festival Prize for the Encouragement by the Ministry of Education.

As koto and sangen player, she extracted musical charms from new works written by her contemporaries. The extreme accuracy of intonation and rhythm as well as the unequaled beauty of sonority are well-known as her characteristics. In 1978 she succeeded to the position of iemoto (head of artistic clan) of the Kensokai. For these multifaceted activities numerous awards including the Medal with a Purple Ribbon, the Matuo geino award, the Fourth Class Order, and the Mobil Music Prize were successively offered to her.

Since 1994 as third Iemoto of the Japan Kneso-kai and since 1996 as living national treasure, and since 1997 honorary citizen of the Sinzyuku ward in Tokyo, she has been leading her colleagues and students and directing the musical activity of the koto and sangen performers. Her two daughters, Yonekawa Megumi and Yonekawa Hiroe, are very active in the same field as Yonekawa Toshiko and are already highly evaluated for the solidness of musical basis and flexibility in musicality transmitted from their mother.

(Professor of musicology, at Otyanomizu (Ochanomizu) University, Tokyo)

1939 Authorized to establish mastership by Chikatoshi Y onekawa I

Teachers

Students

Albums

Fascination of the Koto 1 Fascination of the Koto 1

Fascination of the Koto 2 Fascination of the Koto 2

Fascination of the Koto 3 Fascination of the Koto 3

Fascination of the Koto 4 Fascination of the Koto 4

Fascination of the Koto 5 Fascination of the Koto 5

Flute and Koto of Japan Flute and Koto of Japan

Musical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1 Musical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1

Musical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 2 Musical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 2

So - Japanese Traditional Music So - Japanese Traditional Music

Sokyoku Jiuta Sokyoku Jiuta

Tracks Recorded

KotoAlbum
Aki ni YosuKinko Ryu Shakuhachi - Koten Honkyoku - Kindai Shakuhachi Gaku
Cavalleria RusticanaDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
Chidori no KyokuSo - Japanese Traditional Music
Chidori to Asobu TiekoFascination of the Koto 1
Dance of the Hours - La GiocondaDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
Dance Rituelle Du FeuDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
ElegieDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
Etude Op. 10 No. 3Danse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
Fuyu no KyokuFascination of the Koto 5
Fuyu no KyokuMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 2
Fuyu no KyokuSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 39
Godan GinutaRokudan Koto no Meikyoku
Godan GinutaSo - Japanese Traditional Music
Hachidan no ShirabeFascination of the Koto 2
Hagi no TsuyuSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 38
HanaFascination of the Koto 1
Haru no KotobukiMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 2
Haru no KyokuFascination of the Koto 4
Hien no KyokuSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 05
In A Persian MarketDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
Kaede no HanaFascination of the Koto 4
Kaede no HanaMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 2
Kaede no HanaRokudan Koto no Meikyoku
KonkaiFujii Kunie, The World of Shamisen and Jiuta Singing 4
LiebestraumeDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
Mama no KawaFascination of the Koto 3
Meisho MiyageSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 24
Midare RinzetsuSelections from Koto, Shamisen and Shakuhachi
NagareFascination of the Koto 1
Natsu no KyokuFascination of the Koto 2
Natsu no KyokuMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1
Niju HachidanSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 08
Pavane Pour une Infante DefunteDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
Polovetzer Tanze - Prince IgorDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
Rokudan no ShirabeFascination of the Koto 2
Rokudan no ShirabeMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1
Rokudan no ShirabeSelections from Koto, Shamisen and Shakuhachi
Rokudan no ShirabeSo - Japanese Traditional Music
Sabre DanceDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
SamushiroSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 26
Thais MeditationDanse Rituelle du Fue, Liebestraume
Uji MeguriFascination of the Koto 5
Uji MeguriFascination of the Shakuhachi - 4
Uji MeguriFujii Kunie, The World of Shamisen and Jiuta Singing 4
WakanaFascination of the Shakuhachi - 4
YaegoromoFascination of the Koto 5
YaegoromoSankyoku
Yotsu no TamiSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 27
Yuku HaruFascination of the Koto 1
ZangetsuMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1

Shamisen


Chidori no KyokuFlute and Koto of Japan
DefuneFlute and Koto of Japan
Fune no YumeSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 32
Gion KoutaFlute and Koto of Japan
Hanayome NingyoFlute and Koto of Japan
Itsuki no KomoriutaFlute and Koto of Japan
Junidan SugagakiSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 07
KajimakuraSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 33
Keshi no HanaFascination of the Koto 4
Keshi no HanaSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 35
KinutaMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1
KinutaSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 09
Kojo no TsukiFlute and Koto of Japan
Kuroda BushiFlute and Koto of Japan
KurokamiFascination of the Koto 2
Kushimoto BushiFlute and Koto of Japan
Matsu no KotobukiFascination of the Koto 4
Matsu no KotobukiSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 25
Midare RinzetsuMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1
No AsobiSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 13
O Edo Nihon BashiFlute and Koto of Japan
Rokudan no ShirabeFlute and Koto of Japan
SakuraFlute and Koto of Japan
ShakkyoSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 12
Shin Musume DojojiFascination of the Koto 3
Shinya no TsukiSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 27
Soran BushiFlute and Koto of Japan
Tanko BushiFlute and Koto of Japan
TooryanseFlute and Koto of Japan
Tsuru no KoeFascination of the Koto 2
Ume DojojiMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 2
Ume no YadoSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 32
Yachio JishiFascination of the Koto 2
YugaoFascination of the Koto 2
Voice
Aki no KyokuFascination of the Koto 3
Chidori no KyokuSo - Japanese Traditional Music
Fune no YumeSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 32
Fuyu no KyokuFascination of the Koto 5
Fuyu no KyokuMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 2
Fuyu no KyokuSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 39
Godan GinutaSo - Japanese Traditional Music
HanaFascination of the Koto 1
Haru no KotobukiMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 2
Haru no KyokuFascination of the Koto 4
Hien no KyokuSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 05
Kaede no HanaFascination of the Koto 4
Kaede no HanaMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 2
Kaede no HanaSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 42
KajimakuraSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 33
Keshi no HanaFascination of the Koto 4
Keshi no HanaSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 35
KurokamiFascination of the Koto 2
Mama no KawaFascination of the Koto 3
Matsu no KotobukiFascination of the Koto 4
Matsu no KotobukiSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 25
Meisho MiyageSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 24
Natsu no KyokuFascination of the Koto 2
Natsu no KyokuMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1
No AsobiSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 13
SamushiroSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 26
ShakkyoSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 12
Shin Musume DojojiFascination of the Koto 3
ShintakasagoFascination of the Koto 2
Shinya no TsukiSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 27
Tsuru no KoeFascination of the Koto 2
Ume no YadoSokyoku Jiuta Taikei 32
Yachio JishiFascination of the Koto 2
YaegoromoFascination of the Koto 5
YugaoFascination of the Koto 2
ZangetsuMusical Cosmos of Yonekawa Toshiko 1

Composed or Arranged

Shakuhachi Compositions
YearTitleKanjiAlternate Title
1941
Chikuma Gawa Ryojo no Uta

1950
Hana no Omokage花のおもかげ

1992
Botan Sanka牡丹讃歌

Koto Compositions
1948
Nagare

1974
Ume Dojoji梅道成寺

Shamisen Compositions
1974
Ume Dojoji梅道成寺


The International Shakuhachi Society - 2017