Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto to celebrate 50 years playing koto March 20 in Oakland


OAKLAND — Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto will celebrate 50 years of playing koto music (Japanese 13-stringed zither) on Sunday, March 20 at 4 p.m. at the Lakeside Theater (in Kaiser Center, near Lake Merritt), 300 Lakeside Drive in Oakland, Calif.

Among the artists who will join in the celebration are: Shigeo Tachibana, shakuhachi master from Chiba, Japan, and Linda Kako Caplan, Canada’s premiere koto master. Shoko Hikage (Sawai School), Tamie Kooyenga (Todo School) and Michiyo Koga (Miyagi School), are among the koto masters who will attend the celebration, entitled “Shirley Kazuyo Muramoto’s 50th Anniversary of Koto: A Concert and Reunion.”

Muramoto’s mother learned the koto as a young girl while she was incarcerated in the concentration camps during World War II. At age 5, Muramoto began learning to play the koto. Muramoto received her teaching credentials in 1976 from the Chikushi Kai in Fukuoka, Japan, with honors.
Muramoto’s son, Brian Mitsuhiro Wong, is among the students she has taught over the years.
Muramoto has focused much of her efforts as a teacher and performer on researching traditional Japanese artists of the wartime American concentration camps.

Each piece performed at this concert will represent an important time in Muramoto’s musical journey, with the purpose of honoring those teachers who have come before her, and who passed on their knowledge and expertise.

Tickets cost $15 (general) and $10 (students and seniors with ID) and may be purchased at Tickets may be purchased at the door if a reservation is sent via e-mail to Attendees should bring their printout confirmation to will call.

For more information, call (510) 482-1640.

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