Japan Cultural Envoy FY2018
Ikuta-school koto (a stringed musical instrument) player/Jiuta(local song) music player
  • Countries visited: Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom and Germany
  • Period of the activities:From February 21 to March 22, 2019
  • Birthplace:Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
  • Birth:October 7, 1950
  • Academic background:-

She has received guidance of Ikuta-school koto playing and sangen (three-stringed instrument) since her early childhood from her mother, Toshiko Yonekawa the first, who is a living national treasure, to learn the basics of traditional music. She then became willing to learn music composition and studied the basics under Akihiro Norimatsu. She participated positively in overseas performances, which resulted in broadening her range of artistic skills. In recent years, she has been an active member of the group called “New Wind” as well as in holding recitals of her own. Moreover, she works on creating new tunes as the head director of Soho 21 and has composed as many as 70 tunes. She has attracted attention for her activities beyond the frame of koto music. She is Specially-appointed Professor at the Department of Music (Japanese Music), Faculty of Music, Kurashiki Sakuyo University, and Executive Director at Nihon Sankyoku Kyokai.

1973 Graduated as the 18th class of NHK’s Education Program for Skilled Performers in Japanese Traditional Music
1977 Concert tour in the Republic of Korea, France, China, Italy, German, etc.
1989 Dispatched by The Japan Foundation to perform in the Soviet Union
1992 Dispatched by The Japan Foundation to perform in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland
1994 Dispatched by The Japan Foundation to perform in Switzerland, Austria, Poland and Belgium
1995 Awarded the Minister of Education’s Art Encouragement Prize for New Artists; Performed in Hungary and Poland
1996 Received the Excellence Award of Arts Festival by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs for her performance at the “Yonekawa Hiroe Koto/Sangen Recital”
2004 Awarded the Exxon Mobil Music Award (in the Japanese music category)
2005 Awarded the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize
2007 Changed her stage name to Toshiko Yonekawa the Second, succeeding the name of her mother, and became the fifth iemoto (head) of the Kensokai.
2011 Awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon
2015 Awarded the FY2014 Japan Art Academy Award
2010,2011,2016,2017 Performed at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory (Russia), etc.
[Main works] “Umi~Tayutou (sea ~ swaying to and fro)”; “Tsuki Aya (moon colors)”; “Kaze Aya ~ Koto/Viola niyoru (wind colors ~ with koto/viola)”; “Kawa Chidori (river plover)”; “Tenkyu (sun shower); “Ten no Aya (colors of the sky)”; “Akugarete Iku (yearning and going)”; “Aya no Hibiki ~ Koto to Cembalo notameno (sound of colors) – for koto and cembalo”

YONEKAWA TosikoII report

*The content of this page is as of the year of the appointment as an Japan Cultural Envoy.