Hideki Ishima

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Hideki Ishima
Ishima with Flower Travellin' Band at the Knitting Factory in New York City in 2008.
Background information
Born (1944-03-21) March 21, 1944 (age 73)
Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Genres Rock, hindustani, psychedelic rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Sitarla, sitar, guitar
Years active 1966–present
Associated acts Flower Travellin' Band, View, Pythagoras Party, Co-Colo, Donjuan R&R Band, Trans Am, The Beavers
Website Official site
Notable instruments

Hideki Ishima (石間 秀機, Ishima Hideki, born March 21, 1944 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan) is a Japanese musician, known primarily for his work with Flower Travellin' Band. A guitarist and sitar player for nearly forty years, he now exclusively plays the sitarla, an instrument he invented in 2000 that combines aspects of a sitar with an electric guitar.[1]


Ishima started playing guitar at 19, at the behest of a friend who wanted to be in a band.[2] His first group was Jarōzu (ジャローズ) in his native Sapporo shortly after graduating high school. He moved to Tokyo and formed the group sounds band The Beavers in 1966, who had released four albums and one single but had not had major success.[citation needed]

Ishima began playing sitar at 24, after researching Gábor Szabó at the suggestion of a woman and learning that the jazz guitarist also played this instrument he had never heard of.[1] He taught himself from Ravi Shankar's 1968 book My Music, My Life, looking up the Japanese translations for the English words.[2]

In 1969, while in the blues band Mystic Morning with Joe Yamanaka, the two of them were scouted by Yuya Uchida for Flower Travellin' Band.[3] When they went on hiatus in 1973, Ishima recorded the solo album One Day and joined a group called Trans Am.[1] After a few years off, he followed this with the Donjuan R&R Band with Kenichi Hagiwara. During the 1980s he was in Co-Colo[4] alongside Kenji Sawada and Nobuhiko Shinohara, before being fired.[1]

Ishima quit guitar in 1990, citing money problems.[1] After a 40-minute sitar lesson from Manilal Nag during a trip to Japan in 1998, Ishima became a student of Nag's Japanese apprentice.[2]

He made a comeback in 2000 exclusively playing the sitarla.[1] That year, he recorded the album More-ish with the multinational group Pythagoras Party.[5] The improvisational instrumental group View was formed in 2007.[1]


  • One Day (1973)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g ""First I had the idea, nobody cared. They said 'you're crazy!'"". jrawk.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-20. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  2. ^ a b c "Sex, drugs and sitars". The Japan Times. 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  3. ^ "We just stopped, took a break. It turned out to be for 36 years!". jrawk.com. Archived from the original on 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  4. ^ "CO-CoLO" (in Japanese). Geocities. Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  5. ^ http://6rbtata.com/view/uGVVdlhn9mE/Pythagoras_Party〜H.Ishima__N.Shinohara__K._Harada.html

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