Hiroshima (band)

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Hiroshima is an American jazz fusion/smooth jazz/Asian-American jazz band formed in 1974 by Sansei Japanese American Dan Kuramoto (wind instruments and band leader), Peter Hata (guitar), June Kuramoto (koto), Johnny Mori (percussion and taiko), Dave Iwataki (keyboards) and Danny Yamamoto (drums). Named for the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the band is best known for the fusing of Japanese music and other forms of world music into its playing. Its early jazz-pop R&B Funk sound gave the group a huge following among the African American community and they are regarded as musical pioneers among the Asian American and Japanese American community.[citation needed]

Hiroshima's debut album in 1979, the self-titled Hiroshima, contained the single "Roomful of Mirrors," which caught the ear of the "easy-listening" community.

Hiroshima became popular in the New Adult Contemporary community upon the release of its 1985 album Another Place, which spawned the crossover hit "One Wish".[1]

One of the highlights of Hiroshima's career was serving as the opening act for the Miles Davis 1990 world tour. Since then, despite moving towards new-age music, the group continues to gain a wider audience for its music.

June Kuramoto is the only founding member who is not American-born. She was born in Saitama Prefecture, a part of the Greater Tokyo Area in Japan and moved to Los Angeles at a young age.

The band was featured in a 1976 documentary titled Cruisin' J-Town, directed by Duane Kubo. The group wrote an original song titled "The Moon is a Window to Heaven" for the 1989 film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. One of their songs from their 1987 album "Go," "Hawaiian Electric," was used for a TV ad campaign in Hawaii for The Hawaiian Electric Company, which featured June in the commercial. Hiroshima also performed the theme music written by band leader Kuramoto of the television cooking show Simply Ming hosted by chef Ming Tsai.

Legacy, a celebration of the band's 30th year in the recording industry, is the first installment of what is expected to be a series. This initial album in the series is primarily a re-visitation of songs from the band's first decade. Essentially recorded live at studio Tofuville, it features the six band members along with guest artists.

In 2012, the band released the album Departure. It was initially released on Hiroshima's Facebook page in December 2011 and was released January 2012.

Hiroshima is still active, celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014. Its album Little Tōkyō continues the group's style of Jazz fused with Asian instruments and synthesizer, which sounds like no one else. In its personal statement the group said, "For us, it's always about being different. Its vital to not be the same. We embrace our sound."[2]


  • Dan Kuramoto (1974–present) (Flute)
  • June Kuramoto (1974–present) (Koto - ancient Japanese instrument)
  • Danny Yamamoto (1974–present) (many instruments, mainly drums)
  • Kimo Cornwell (present) (Keyboard)
  • Dean Cortez (present) (Bass Guitar)
  • Shoji Kameda (present) (Taiko, throat singer)[3]


  • Johnny Mori (1974–2003) [4]
  • Peter Hata (guitar, 1974–1984)
  • Dave Iwataki (keyboards, 1974–1977)
  • Dane Matsumura (bass guitar, 1977–1980)
  • John Shipley (Keyboards, 1977-1978)
  • Richard Matthews (1979-1980) (Keyboard-Composer)
  • Teri Kusumoto (vocalist, 1977–1982)
  • Jess Acuna (vocalist, 1977–1982)
  • Barbara Long (vocalist, 1985 album Another Place, 1987 album Go)
  • Margaret Sasaki-Taylor "Machun" (vocalist, 1989 album East)
  • Jeanette Clinger (vocalist, 1992 album Providence)
  • Teri Koide (vocalist, 1994 album LA)
  • Terry Steele (vocalist, 1999 album Between Black & White)


Studio Albums[edit]

Title Year Label
Hiroshima 1979 Arista/BMG
Odori 1980 Razor & Tie/BMG
Third Generation 1983 Epic/CBS
Another Place 1985 Epic/CBS
Go 1987 Epic/CBS
East 1989 Epic/CBS
Providence 1992 Epic/SME
L.A. 1994 Qwest/Reprise/Warner Bros.
Urban World Music 1996 Qwest/Warner Bros.
Between Black and White 1999 Windham Hill/BMG
The Bridge 2003 Heads Up
Spirit of the Season 2004 Heads Up
Obon 2005 Heads Up
Little Tokyo 2007 Heads Up
Departure 2011 Hiroshima
J-Town Beat 2013 CD Baby
Songs With Words 2015 CD Baby

June Kuramoto's solo projects[edit]

  • Spirit and Soul (Junku) 2002
  • The Way of the Tea 2005
  • Under the Stars 2009


  • Golden Age (Epic) 1976
  • Ongaku (Arista) 1988
  • The Best of Hiroshima (Epic) 1994
  • Legacy 2009

Other music credits[edit]


  1. ^ "Hiroshima - Chart history". www.billboard.com. June 14, 1986. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  2. ^ Bottom Frame scales
  3. ^ About, Members biography. On Ensemble.
  4. ^ Johnny Mori. Discover Nikkei, Japanese American National Museum. Retrieved 2009-09-14.
  5. ^ A great song by any other name . . .. The Japan Times, March 7, 2000

External links[edit]