Taniguchi “Ryudo” Yoshinobu of Kyoto, Japan has been recognized by his peers as one of the top masters in Japan for over the last 15 years. Mr. Taniguchi’s playing seems to have strongly been influenced by his immersion in Zen Buddhism (his uncle and grandfather were Zen Buddhist monks) which has resulted in a sound that is always “alive”. Whether when playing the powerful sounds from the songs of the traditional repertoire of Zen “music”, modern music or beautiful lullabies, Mr. Taniguchi fully captivates his audience, often sending them home in tears of marvelous disbelief. This personality, comprised of abundant energy and warm humility coupled with the no-nonsense outlook of a strict Zen practitioner has allowed him to achieve a range of mastery on this difficult instrument. |
Attesting to his uniqueness in a world of shakuhachi that is highly specialized, a disciple traditionally can study only one sect of shakuhachi and it is considered remarkable to receive the rank of Master or Grand Master in that sect. Mr. Taniguchi has successfully crossed these barriers having studied with and received such titles from several master teachers in various sects, including world renowned masters Yokoyama Katsuya, Yamaguchi Goro and Aoki Reibo.
Recognition in accolades and achievements for Mr. Taniguchi is widespread in spite of the fact that he is reclusive, preferring the solitary life of training to fame in the shakuhachi world. In fact, he has turned away camera crews from NHK (the National broadcasting Company of Japan) several times at his doorstep, explaining that his objective in life is not to become famous. Nevertheless, one finds that he has also received the title of Senshinkutsu Dai Shihan at the young age of 35 years old-an honorary “Emeritus” title usually bestowed upon much older celebrated masters.
Mr. Taniguchi has won the top award at the Osaka Geijutsu Sai, a prestigious music festival which always includes the top class performers from throughout Japan and was the recipient of a Japan Foundation Grant which funded his tenure as Associate Professor of Music at Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio in 1982-83. He held the position of chairman of the Chikudo Kai Shakuhachi Association, an association of shakuhachi teachers and players throughout Japan. Mr. Taniguchi has been asked by the Japanese government to represent Japan and the Japanese music world as a guest performer in the U.S.A., Canada, France and China.
Mr. Taniguchi has written several training books for studying shakuhachi and has a large collection of recordings including a 10 volume set of over 250 Enka songs and a four CD set of traditional shakuhachi music.