Shoji Tabuchi

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Shoji Tabuchi
Tabuchi performing
Background information
Birth nameShoji Tabuchi
Also known asKing of Branson
Born (1944-04-16) April 16, 1944 (age 76)
Daishōji, Ishikawa, Empire of Japan (now Kaga, Ishikawa, Japan)
GenresCountry, gospel
Years active1967–present
Associated actsRoy Acuff
David Houston

Shoji Tabuchi (田淵 章二, Tabuchi Shōji, born April 16, 1944) is a Japanese-American[1] country music fiddler and singer who currently performs at his theater, the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre, in Branson, Missouri.[2]

Early life[edit]

Shoji Tabuchi was born April 16, 1944[3] in Daishōji, Ishikawa, Japan (now Kaga, Ishikawa, Japan). When Tabuchi turned 7, his mother encouraged him to learn how to play the violin using the Suzuki method.


In the mid-1960s, Tabuchi was a sophomore in college and had heard that Roy Acuff was coming to Osaka, Japan. Tabuchi went to his concert and got to meet Acuff backstage. Acuff's music inspired Tabuchi to pursue country and bluegrass music.

When Tabuchi was in college, he formed a band called The Bluegrass Ramblers, which led them to win a national contest in Japan. He decided to travel to the United States with his violin and only $500.[3] After living in San Francisco, Kansas City, and Louisiana, Tabuchi moved to Nashville to reconnect with Acuff, who arranged an appearance for Tabuchi to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Tabuchi later made numerous appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.

The Shoji Tabuchi Show[edit]

Tabuchi arrived in Branson around 1980, after performing successfully for a few years. He built one of Branson's most elaborate theaters, which was completed in 1990, and began hosting his own show. Besides country music, The Shoji Tabuchi Show has incorporated polka, gospel, Cajun, Hawaiian, rap, and rock music.

Tabuchi has developed a loyal fan base through his Branson show. He employs about 200 personnel at his elaborate 2,000-seat theater, where he performs two shows daily most of the year.[4]

The theater was closed due to a backstage fire in May 2017. It reopened on October 22, 2018.[5]

The Shoji Tabuchi Show garnered considerable attention when it was featured on the RedLetterMedia web series Best of the Worst. The VHS release of the show's third volume first appeared on the inaugural "Wheel of the Worst" episode on April 30, 2013, and was finally viewed on the fourth "Wheel of the Worst" episode, which premiered on RedLetterMedia's website on February 28, 2014. It was voted "Best of the Worst", meaning it was the most entertaining video of the night. The group likened his stage presence to that of a Martin Short character.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Mary Jo, a patron at a financial-district restaurant where Tabuchi played for tips, became his first wife in 1968, after which he became an American citizen. They moved to Kansas City, and Tabuchi began performing at the Starlite Club in nearby Riverside, Missouri. In 1974 the couple had a son, Shoji John Tabuchi.[7] Tabuchi began performing at venues in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma, but his marriage ended under the pressure of his constant touring.[7]

After moving to Branson in 1980, he met his second wife, Dorothy Lingo, after she attended several of his shows at the Starlite Theater; and he became the stepfather to her two children from a previous marriage.[7] Lingo helps with numerous production aspects of The Shoji Tabuchi Show such as choreography, costume design, and the theater's interior design. Tabuchi is sometimes accompanied by his step-daughter, Christina.[8]

Selected discography[edit]

  • Country Music My Way (ABC/Dot, 1975)[9]
  • After Dark, Shoji Entertainments
  • Songs for Mark Koeper, Shoji Entertainments
  • Different Moods: Collection One, Shoji Entertainments
  • Fiddlin' Around, Shoji Entertainments
  • Live from Branson, Shoji Entertainments
  • Notes from Shoji, Shoji Entertainments
  • The Shoji Tabuchi Show! Vols. 1–4, Shoji Entertainments
  • Songs for the Lord, Shoji Entertainments


  1. ^ Nahm, H Y. "King of Branson". Goldsea. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  2. ^ Clark, Joshua. "Branson's Shoji Tabuchi to spend holidays at Clay Cooper Theatre". Branson Tri-Lakes News. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  3. ^ a b Shoji Tabuchi Information
  4. ^ Shoji Tabuchi Show
  5. ^ Theater Status
  6. ^ Best of the Worst Best of the Worst
  7. ^ a b c Shoji Tabuchi Family Life
  8. ^ Christina Lingo-Tabuchi
  9. ^

External links[edit]