26 February 1933
3 January 1999 (aged 65)
Gorō Yamaguchi (Japanese: 山口 五郎; February 26, 1933 – January 3, 1999) a Japanese shakuhachi (vertical bamboo flute) player, was known for his musicality, phrasing, impeccable technique (and modesty) in solo and ensemble performances. He headed the Chikumeisha shakuhachi guild and became a world-famous Japanese performer and teacher. In 1967-68 he was appointed Artist in Residence at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut (USA).
While at Wesleyan, Nonesuch Explorer Series recorded his "A Bell Ringing In The Empty Sky" LP, an influential first recording of shakuhachi in the US. NASA included one honkyoku from that LP, "Tsuru No Sugomori," (Nesting of Cranes) on the Voyager Golden Record which was sent into space. In 1992, the Japanese government designated Yamaguchi a Living National Treasure (Ningen Kokuhô).
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