Sanshin lesson with Kossan


I am totally a self-taught sanshin player so I always wanted to take a lesson from the real authentic Okinawan sanshin player. But how can I find that kind of skilled musician in New York City, on the other side of the world? The answer is you can't. I had to use what I had. I am a self-taught Tsugaru-shamisen player to start with, so I basically transferred all of those my poorly-immitated shamisen technics to sanshin, and had been, I mean, have been cheating on my sanshin playing since the beginning.

 しかーし、つい先日のJAM 2009で三線を弾いていた『こっさん』のという禅のお坊様と知り合うことができ、今日はその方の三線教室に来ました。いやー、素晴らしい。三線の持ち方から何から直してもらいました。練習曲に『安里屋(あさどや)ユンタ』と『三線の花』をやったのですが、特に『安里屋ユンタ』は私が個人的に大ファンの夏川りみさんも歌っているので、ノリノリで演奏してまいました。次のWaFooのコンサートはこれで決まりですね。

That's going to end today. I met Kossan who was playing the sanshin in traditional style at Japan Arts Matsuri 2009 on the other day. I found out this mean sanshin player, who was also a zen monk, was teaching sanshin every week. I jumped right on and came to his class. He gave me one excellent lecture. He corrected me on everything, starting with how to hold the instrument to how to put it back in the case. We played a couple of practice tunes. I had a blast.


Kossan is about to leave New York to attend at Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts for next four years. It is too bad that we just got to know each other. After the class, he talked about his own pleasant philosophy as a monk, as a person. That made me feel really comfortable. Kossan said that he would come back to New York from time to time. Kossan, please play a concert with WaFoo when you come back. I promise it will be a fun concert because all the members of WaFoo are good people.


Let's not forget to mension, Kossan is having the last concert in New York titled "Kossan Matsuri (festival)" on Dec. 12th & 13th. The detail is on his web site. This is the last chance to see Kossan's performance. Don't miss it!

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