Records has been doing a great job introducing new Japanese music to
international audiences. Agatsuma is a young Japanese musician who has taken an
ancient traditional instrument, the Tsugaru-Shamisen, to the 21st
century. On Beyond
he continues in the direction he initiated with his
self-titled album, Agatsuma. Beyond
features powerful Tsugaru-Shamisen solos,
accompanied by electronic beats and world music influences, with the
introduction of Peruvian cajón.
was the 14-year-old winner of the 1988 All-Japan Tsugaru-Shamisen Competition,
held at the Kanagicho in the Aomori Prefecture. He began his studies of the
instrument at the age of six. For several more years, the young artist continued
to develop his talents and for two consecutive years, in 1995 and 1996, he was
awarded the prestigious top prize in the Tsuguru-Shamisen National Competition
held in Hirosaki, Japan.
In 2001, Agatsuma received the award for ‘Album of the Year’ at the Japan Gold
Disc Awards for his debut album, Agatsuma.