Hōzan Yamamoto

Hōzan Yamamoto (山本 邦山, Yamamoto Hōzan; October 6, 1937 - February 10, 2014 in Ōtsu, Shiga prefecture) was a Japanese shakuhachi player, composer and lecturer.[1]

Hōzan Yamamoto
Born(1937-10-06)October 6, 1937
OriginŌtsu, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
Died(2014-02-10)February 10, 2014 (aged 76)
Years active1958 – 2014

Yamamoto started playing the Japanese bamboo flute shakuhachi at the age of nine. He was initially taught by his father and then by Chozan Nakanishi. After graduating from Kyoto Junior College of Foreign Studies in 1958, he participated in UNESCO's World Folk Music Festival and graduated from Seiha Music College in 1962. Together with koto player Shinichi Yuize and Tony Scott, he recorded the album Music for Zen Meditation in February 1964.

After forming the widely acclaimed "Shakuhachi Sanbon Kai" trio in 1966 with Reibo Aoki and Katsuya Yokoyama, he electrified the conservative traditional scene by applying his talents to a variety of crossover collaborations. These have led him to work with such world-renowned musicians as Ravi Shankar, Helen Merrill, Gary Peacock and Karl Berger, and also with flute colleagues Jean-Pierre Rampal and Chris Hinze.

In 1980 he was invited to the renowned Donaueschingen music festival with his trio. He recorded music for the movie Samurai Reincarnation film and the album Masters of Zen: Shakuhachi & Organ with Wolfgang Mitterer. Through the 1970s and 1980s until his death he led the shakuhachi world receiving innumerable honors, including Japanese Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Education Ministerial awards for his performances, recordings (numbering in the hundreds) and compositions. He served as lecturer at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and as head of the Hozan-kai Shakuhachi Guild.

In 2002 he was designated Living National Treasure of Japan. In 2004, he was awarded a Medal with Purple Ribbon. In 2009, he was awarded an Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

On February 10, 2014, he died at a hospital in Tokyo.



  1. ^ "人間国宝の尺八奏者・山本邦山さんが死去 映画音楽なども担当 - 芸能社会 - SANSPO.COM(サンスポ)". Sanspo.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-23. Retrieved 2014-02-21.