"Legendary shakuhachi performer Goro Yamaguchi honored by the goverment as a living national treasure, died of acute heart failure at a Tokyo hospital early Sunday, his family said. He was 65. Yamaguchi, a professor at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, studied Japanese flute from age 11 under the tutelage of his father, shakuhachi master Shiro Yamaguchi, whose school he eventually took over in 1963.
The accuracy of his technique earned him wide praise at home and abroad. In 1971, Yamaguchi was awarded Mobil's Music Award, just one of several he earned over the course of his career. In 1992, the government designated him a living national treasure for his achievements in reproducing the original spiritual and philosophical world of shakuhachi.
For his repute as a shakuhachi performer, he received a 1994 award from the Japan Art Academy. Yamaguchi produced a classical compilation album in 1984 and many other recordings. One of Yamaguchi's songs -- *Tsuru no Sugomori (Crane's Nest Lullaby*) -- was included on Voyager 2, a space probe launched by the United States in 1977, as part of messages from the people of Earth."