Kunimoto, Takeharu


  • From Tokyo, Japan.
  • Plays the a Japanese stringed instrument called the “Shami-sen” which resembles the banjo.
  • Studied bluegrass music for one year at East Tennessee State University (under the sponsorship of the Japanese government) and while there, recorded two albums (“Appalachian Shamisen” and “Sushi and Gravy”) with a band made up of ETSU faculty and students called “The Last Frontier.” He also performed on the 2005 IBMA Awards Show.
  • He is a well-known musician and storyteller in Japan. Owns and performs at the Tokyo Theatre in downtown Tokyo and was featured in the Academy Award nominated film “Mt. Head.” He is a regular on several Japanese TV soap operas and children’s programs.
  • 2015, he died on Christmas eve at the age of 55.