KATSUYA YOKOYAMA was one of the greatest masters of the shakuhachi in Japan of the post-WWII generation. He was born in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1934 and studied Kinko-ryu and Azuma styles of music with his father, Rampo Yokoyama, and grandfather, Koson Yokoyama.

At the age of 25, Yokoyama began to study with Fukuda Rando, founder of the Azuma School and with Watazumido-doso, a legendary Fuke master who sought to synthesize shakuhachi music and spirituality within the context of Zen Buddhism. Guided by these two eminent masters, Yokoyama was able to combine the modernism of Rando with the deeply religious traditional spirit of Watazumido in his training. With this foundation, he came to develop a remarkably powerful and creative style that embodied both ends of the continuum. A true descendant of the Kinko tradition transmitted down through the generations, he also pioneered a revolution in modern music that swept across post-War Japan.

In 1960, Yokoyama completed his studies at the NHK Japanese Traditional Music Training Center and, one year later, formed Shakuhachi San-Jyuso-dan, a trio devoted to furthering new music for the instrument. In 1963, he founded the Nihon Ongaku Shudan (Japanese Music Group) and Shakuhachi Sanbon-kai (Group of Three Shakuhachi ) with Kinko master Aoki Reibo and Tozan master Hozan Yamamoto. This historic group helped to establish a new genre of music for shakuhachi trio.

In 1967, Yokoyama was selected by the renowned composer Toru Takemitsu to perform the premiere of "November Steps," his modern composition for shakuhachi, biwa and orchestra led by Seiji Ozawa and the New York Philharmonic. Since its opening over thirty five years ago, Yokoyama has performed this epic piece hundreds of times around the world.

Katsuya Yokoyama was head of the Chikushin-kai Shakuhachi Guild. He has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, amongst them the Geijutsu Sen-sho (Art Award) in 1971, the Geijutsu-sai Yushu-sho (Art Excellence Award) in 1972, the Geijutsu-sai Tai-sho (Art Festival Grand Prize) in 1973 given by the Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Ongaku no Tomo-sha Award in 1991.

In 1988, Yokoyama founded the Kokusai Shakuhachi Kenshukan (International Shakuhachi Training Center) located in Bisei-cho, Okayama, Japan where he hosted the first International Shakuhachi Festival in 1993. This event precipitated founding of the World Shakuhachi Society and Festival held in Boulder, Colorado in 1998. At this gathering, five of the world’s greatest shakuhachi masters, including Yokoyama, performed in a single venue for the first time ever.

In 2002, the Japanese government honored Katsuya Yokoyama for a lifetime of achievement by awarding him the esteemed Shiju Hosho (Purple Ribbon Medal) award. He died in 2010, leaving behind a rich legacy of shakuhachi tradition to the world.

Includes a shakuhachi honkyoku performed by four of the six great masters of the post-WWII generation.

1. Yamaguchi Goro
Sokaku Reibo (20:54)
2. Yokoyama Katsuya
San An (7:10)
3. Yamamoto Hozan
Kogarashi (c. Nakao Tozan I - 1923) (7:34)
4. Aoki Reibo & Yokoyama Katsuya
Shika no Tone (11:10)

CD $17.50

Toru Takemitsu
Yokoyama Katsuya,
Kinshi Tsuruta, biwa

Performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Bernard Haitink, Conductor

November Steps (ノヴェンバー・ステップス ) is a musical composition by the Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu, for the traditional Japanese musical instruments, shakuhachi and biwa, and western orchestra. The work was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic on the occasion of its 125th anniversary, and premiered in November 1967 by the orchestra under the direction of Seiji Ozawa.

1. November Steps For Biwa, Shakuhachi And Orchestra (1967)
Biwa – Kinshi Tsuruta
Shakuhachi – Katsuya Yokoyama
2. Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Tom Service, A Guide to Toru Takemitisu's Music
The Guardian (2/11/15)


SANGAI RINTEN: Yokoyama Katsuya’s World:
Turning Wheel-Past, Present & Future

1. Sangairinten. Composed by Yokoyama in1980.
Shakuhachi &17-String Koto: Katsuya Yokoyama.
Shakuhachi: Yoshikazu Iwamoto, Teruo Furuya, Kazushi Matama, Tadashi Tajima, Ichiro Seki, Tatsumi Yoshioka & Kuniyoshi Sugawara.
Vocals & Biwa: Kinshi Tsuruta.
Percussion: Toshio Ogura.
2. Sokkan. Koten Honkyoku.
2.85' Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama.
3. Koden Sugomori (Suzuru).
2.0' Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama.
4. Ukigumo. Koten Honkyoku.
2.3' Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama.
5. Sanya Sugagaki. Koten Honkyoku.
2.7' Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama.
1.8’Shakuhachi: Yoshikazu Iwamoto.
6. Takiotoshi or Takiochi.Koten Honkyoku.
2.0’ Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama.
7. Sesshin. Composed by Yokoyama in1979.
Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama, Yoshikazu Iwamoto, Teruo Furuya, Kazushi Matama, Tadashi Tajima, Ichiro Seki, Tatsumi Yoshioka & Kuniyoshi Sugawara. Percussion - Toshio Ogura, Sumire Yoshihara.

CD artwork by Maya Yokoyama.


ONKU: Yokoyama Katsuya’s World:
Original Compositions & Koten Honkyoku

1. Onku.
Composed by Yokoyama in1964.
1.6', 1.8', 2.0', 2.4', 2.7' Shakuhachi:
Katsuya Yokoyama.
1.8' Shakuhachi: Yoshikazu Iwamoto.
1.8', 2.4' Shakuhachi: Tadashi Tajima.
2. Makiri.
Composed by Yokoyama in1975.
3. Ririura.
Composed by Yokoyama in 1978.
2.7’ Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama.
1.8' Shakuhachi: Yoshikazu Iwamoto.
4. Fatatsu no Uta.
Composed by Yokoyama 1975 and rearranged in 1978.
Nohkan, 1.6', 2.4' Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama.
17-String Koto- Tadao Sawai.
Vocals & Shomyo: Yoshimasa Kojima.
17-String Koto- Tadao Sawai.
5. Sanan.
Koten Honkyoku.
2.3’ Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama.
6. Shika no Tone.
Koten Honkyoku.
1.8'' Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama.
1.8'' Shakuhachi: Yoshikazu Iwamoto.

CD artwork by Maya Yokoyama.


KATSUYA YOKOYAMA: Live In Concert - 1984

[Double Album]
Performed in Bergen, Norway. NHK broadcast radio concert and various venues Japan.

Disc 1
1. Shun Sui.
Composed by Yokoyama.
Shakuhachi duet with Teruo Furuya.
2. Seki Shun.
Composed by Yokoyama.
Koto: Michiko Onari.
3. Koku.
Koten Honkyoku.
4. Kon Kai.
Sangen & Vocals: Kimiko Haga.
5. Shika no Tone.
Koten Honkyoku.
Duet by Yokoyama and his father, Rampo Yokoyama.

Disc 2
1. Double Concerto with Symphony Orchesta.
Composed by Toshio Funakawa.
13-String Koto: K- Kimiko Haga.
2. Kangen Hisho.
Composed by Ichiro Higo.
Koto: Michiko Onari.
3. Echigo Jishi.
Koto, Sangen & Vocals: Kiyotaka Tomiyama.
Koto & Vocals: Kimiko Haga.

CD artwork by Maya Yokoyama.


KATSUYA YOKOYAMA: Live In Concert - 1981

Performed in Carnegie Hall (NYC) and various venues Japan.

1. Kon Kai.
Juita. Tadao Sawai: Sangen & Vocals.
2. Daha.
Koten Honkyoku.
3. Takiotoshi.
Koten Honkyoku.
4. Wadatsumino no Irokonomiya.
Composed by Rando Fukuda. Arranged by Tomiko Kohjiba.
Shakuhachi: Katsuya Yokoyama, Teruo Furuya & Kazushi Matama.
5. Kangen Hisho.
Composed by Ichiro Higo.
Koto: Tadao Sawai.
6. Due Concertanta for Shakuhachi & Koto.
Performed in 1985 at Carnegie Hall.
Composed by Yoshiro Irino.
Koto: Kimiko Haga.

CD artwork by Maya Yokoyama.

No. 1. Azuma Jishi (Vol. 1, No. 1) (2:56)
No. 2. Nezasa Shirabe (Vol. 1, No. 2) (3:08)
No. 3. Sagariha(Vol. 1, No. 3) (4:08)
No. 4. Tamuke (Vol. 1, No. 4) (4:44)
No. 5a. Sanya [Version 1] - Part 1 (Vol. 1, No. 5) (7:37)
No. 5b. Sanya [Version 1] - Part 2 (Vol. 1, No. 5) (7:37)
No. 6. Shingetsu (Vol. 1, No. 6) (5:53)
No. 7a. Sanan - Part 1 (Vol. 1, No. 7) (7:37)
No. 7b. Sanan - Part 2 (Vol. 1, No. 7) (7:37)
No. 8. Yamagoe (Vol. 1, No. 8) (5:00)
No. 9. Koden Sugumori (Suzuru) (Vol. 1, No. 9) (5:00)
No. 10a. Koku - Part 1 (Vol. 2, No. 1) (12:01)
No. 10b. Koku - Part 2 (Vol. 2, No. 1) (12:01)
No. 11. Daha (Vol. 2, No. 2) (5:10)
No. 12. Sokkan (Vol. 2, No. 3) (4:58)
No. 13a. Sanya [Version 2] - Part 1 (Vol. 2, No. 4) (10:27)
No. 13b. Sanya [Version 2] - Part 2 (Vol. 2, No. 4) (10:27)
No. 14. Hifumi Hachigaeshi (Vol. 2, No. 5) (8:02)
No. 15. Honshirabe (Vol. 2, No. 6) (3:23)
No. 16. Tsuru no Sugomori (Vol. 2, No. 7) (6:12)
No. 17. Shogan-ken Reibo (Vol. 3, No. 1) (11:28)
No. 18. Reibo (Vol. 3, No. 2) (11:17)
No. 19.Ukigumo (Vol. 3, No. 3) (8:55)
No. 20. Shika no Tohne (Vol. 3, No. 4) (9:42)
No. 21.Taki Ochi (Vol. 3, No. 5) (6:32)
No. 22. Kumoi Jishi (Vol. 3, No. 6) (3:55)

Two extended works by Richard Teitelbaum for shakuhachi and synthesizer with percussion and bass accompaniment. Teitelbaum was one of the founders of the revolutionary MEV group in Rome which explored live electroacoustic and collective improvisation in the 60's and 70's. Subsequent to that era he began work with the renowned shakuhachi master, teacher and composer Yokoyama and began on a course of intercultural music. These works express his unique language and nuances of sound color which have given him a cult recognition among avant garde composers and audiences. Blends (1977) a kind of circumnavigation, is an exploration of the shakuhachi's timbral world in an extended dialog with Moog synthesizers, a pairing that was quite controversial at the time. Kyotaku/Denshi (1995) is more of a historical tour that follows a trajectory of Japanese history through the shakuhachi, from its roots of the traveling monks through various episodes of religious, artistic and secular events.

Richard Teitelbaum, synthesizer
Katsuya Yokoyama, shakuhachi
Trilok Gurtu, tabla and percussion
Mark Dresser, bass
Gerry Hemingway, percussion

A Note about Pricing of CDs Imported from Japan

The price of CDs manufactured and sold in Japan are significantly higher than recordings made and distributed here in the USA. The average price for Japanese CDs is ¥3150 or, at the current exchange US Dollar to Japanese Yen rate, significantly more expensive than the cost of most American CDs. Add to this the shipping cost involved in importing these recordings. For this reason, in the past, I have hesitated to carry a large selection of Japanese CDs. However, by request and popular demand, I have changed this policy, but please don't be shocked by the sticker prices. Some Japanese artists represented on this site have are graciously offering their music at a significant discount to accommodate the world shakuhachi community. I have also endeavored to keep pricing in line as much as possible.

Learn more about
Katsuya Yokoyama

Katsuya Yokoyama, SHAKUHACHI KOTEN HONKYOKU: Practice, Techniques & Notation
Sheet Music, CDs & Playing Guide

DVD Video

Monty H. Levenson, P.O. Box 294, Willits, CA 95490 USA
[email protected]    www.shakuhachi.com

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