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Yumiko Tanaka (田中悠美子, born in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan) is a gidayu shamisen player. While a student majoring in musicology at Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, Tanaka was attracted to the timbre of the gidayu shamisen (also known as the futozao, or thick-necked), which accompanies gidayu-bushi in Bunraku, traditional Japanese puppet theater. In 1979 she began studying gidayu recitation with female gidayu recitation artist Komanosuke Takemoto (a Living National Treasure), and the following year became a Bunraku disciple… read more

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