Good in Gardena Performer Profile: Hakodate / Tokyo Crew

Along with Katsuyukie Sensei and Katsujyuuro, an additional three singers and three shamisen players are coming from Hakodate and Japan, specifically for Good in Gardena! These are some of Sensei’s most accomplished (and friendly!) students and I am tremendously excited to have them join the lunch and concert! Here are brief introductions of the members.


Kineya Katsuyukio / Masao Fujii – vocals

Fujii-san is one of my favorite nagauta singers, with a powerful voice and inspiring control. He is a world-traveller and was a great supporter and inspiration to me while I was in Hakodate.


Kineya Katsukoushin / Osamu Kambe – vocals

Osamu-san lives in Tokyo (with wonder-woman Michiko, who will also be coming to Good in Gardena!) and is a retired engineer. Osamu suffered a stroke a number of years back and has used nagauta singing and shamisen in his recovery. He is now an accomplished singer, receiving his stage name in 2008.


Masako Matsumoto – vocals

Following the passing of her shamisen-playing husband, Matsumoto-san began studying nagauta with Katsuyukie Sensei in Hakodate, Japan.


Kineya Wayukiji / Rieko Kuwahara – shamisen

Wayukiji-san is a great shamisen player with a surprising passion for dinosaurs. Last time she was in Los Angeles, we went to Universal Studios where she almost popped at Jurassic Park.


Matsunaga Wakikou / Kimiko Takahashi – shamisen

Takahashi-san studied for many years in the Matsunaga guild until her teacher passed away. Living in Hakodate, she soon found Katsuyukie with whom to continue her studies.


Etsuko Kashiwa – shamisen

With a deep love of nagauta, Kashiwa-san began playing shamisen informally with her friends in Tokyo. After reaching a moderate level of ability, however, the members felt they needed more guidance and expertise and Kashiwa-san enlisted Katsuyukie as her teacher.

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