Takeharu Kunimoto

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Takeharu Kunimoto (国本武春, Kunimoto Takeharu, November 1, 1960 – December 24, 2015) was a prominent Japanese shamisen player and rōkyoku singer.

In addition to performing and recording traditional music, he was also the only prominent shamisen player to perform and record bluegrass music; he spent some time in the 2000s in the bluegrass program of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. He also performed and record in a rock music-influenced style.

At the age of 14 Kunimoto attended a Bill Monroe concert in Tokyo and shook his hand, thus inspiring Takeharu to play bluegrass.[1]

Kunimoto died at the age of 55 on December 24, 2015, following an illness.[2]


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