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Keisho OHNO

Published on 13/06/2011 - Edition 2011
Keisho OHNO


Nationality : Japan

Jobs : Musician

After a European tour, Keisho OHNO, the master of Shamisen, is at Japan Expo: the Shamisen traditional sound gets groovy tints on the main stage!

Live on the main stage on Sunday!!





Keisho OHNO was born in Niigata, North of Honshu island. At 8, he becomes a student of Chikuei TAKAHASHI, himself a disciple of Chikuzan TAKAHASHI, the great funding master of Tsugaru Shamisen.

At the early age of 12, he acquired his stage name or Natori, a Japanese tradition which allows him to bear part of his master’s name for performances. At 14, he is accepted among the “Chikuzan Bushi order followers”.

In March 2006, Keisho OHNO performs at one of the three biggest festivals in the world, SXWS, South by Southwest. He goes on with an American Tour in five cities (Austin, New York, Chicago, Auckland and Los Angeles) for seven lives. The same year, in September, his 3 days live in Berlin is a real success, attracting the attention of foreign media.

In February 2009, his European tour Samurai Spirit takes place in five European cities, attracting many media and a large audience. Keisho OHNO’s major album debut was Shamisen Tamashi - Shamisen Spirit in Japan in April 2007.

By performing with artists with different styles, Keisho OHNO breaks with the clichés of Shamisen and gives groove sounds to his music, which appeals to fans of any age.

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In 2010, he was at Japan Expo Sud and triumphed on the main stage of the festival. As he starts a European tour in February 2011, which goes through France, the United-Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Poland and Luxemburg, he makes a stop at Japan Expo Sud and is now about to conquer the main stage of Japan Expo.


Keisho OHNO’s latest album, released in February 2011: Kamome




Shamisen was created in Okinawa in the middle of the Edo era (between the 17th and 19th century) which soon spreads through Japan. It particularly developed in Tsugaru, a region which is famous for its winters. Thus, it is often called Tsugaru Shamisen.

This very delicate instrument is made of three silk strings which loosen or tighten depending on the temperature.


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His musicians


Toshihiro YUTA // TAIKO

Born in Osaka, Toshihiro YUTA started as a professional percussionist at 16. Always searching for new inspirations, he specialized in Taiko (traditional Japanese drums) while collaborating with many European musicians.

He took part in many international festivals such as the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988, the international music festival of Istanbul in 1992 or the show Ninja from Hollywood produced by Sho KOSUGI.


Born in Kyôto, Yoichiro SUZUKI started piano at 5, then trombone at 12 ans. He is an autodidact of Shakuhachi, Japanese traditional flute.

His style is varied, from funk to soul and rock or jazz. A live musician above all, he also composes advertising music and plays in studios. He is often invited in Japanese TV shows.


More information about Keisho OHNO on his website (in English)
and on MySpace!

Meet the guest

  • Signing session Thursday 30 June, 14h00-15h00, Signing room 4
    First come, first served
  • Showcase Sunday 03 July, 16h30-17h00, Main stage
  • Signing session Sunday 03 July, 13h15-14h15, Signing room 3
    First come, first served

Associated themes

  • Music
  • Culture and traditions
    Culture and traditions