Takeo Yamashiro

Region: Vancouver British Columbia
| Born 1943, Japan


Takeo Yamashiro is a shakuhachi master who has lived and practiced his music in Canada since 1972. Prior to his arrival in Vancouver, Yamashiro trained under and played with two Kyoto Masters, Shuzan Yamashita and Kofu Kikusui. In 1971, he was appointed with mastership and the designated name of Rempu (Lotus Wind), the Chief Protégé and Successor to Kofu Kikusui at his Religious Music Institute, Shakado Shakuhachi Dojo at Seiryo-ji Temple in Kyoto. Yamashiro taught, lectured and performed live and in film scores for more than five years before emigrating from Japan. He is considered the first professional musician specializing in Japanese traditional music among the post-war immigrants to Canada. He has been one of the most influential shakuhachi masters in North America over the past four decades. Yamashiro has performed as a soloist as well as with other musicians and ensembles in Japan and Europe as well as across North America.

While continuing the discipline of classical Japanese music, he has also explored intercultural fusion with curiosity and bravery and has led many jazz and ethnic musicians into successful improvisational collaborations. He is a pioneer in the field of cross-cultural, jazz, world and creative music. His commitment and devotion to community work as co-founder of Tonari Gumi and project sponsor of the first Annual Powell Street Festival in Vancouver is also well recognized. Yamashiro’s recorded music is best heard on his solo albums, TAKEO YAMASHIRO – SHAKUHACHI (Aural Tradition, 1988, ATRC 110), NYO (Lotus Wind Records, 1998, LW 002) and SEIZAN – Blue Mountain (2015 Lotus Wind Records). He has performed several film scores including for a portrait of Arthur Erickson, Obachan’s Garden, directed by Linda Ohama and Reed, directed by Fumiko Kiyooka.