Japanese Ukulele Culture

We have a unique & original ukulele culture in japan.

Ukulele Maestro

Kiyoshi Kobayashi was originally "Jazz manouche" guitar player, such as Django Reinhardt. However he is known nowadays as a Ukulele Maestro in Japan. He has released many ukulele CDs, music books for ukulele, DVDs of "how to play the ukulele",and he is a great instructor of Ukulele and the director of the Ukulele Orchestra of Japan. Kiyoshi's ukulele feeling is based on "Swing Jazz" because of he is a "Jazz manouche" guitar player. He brings to Japanese Ukulele culture not only Hawaiian music, but also Jazz, standard-pops, and the classic music such as Bach.

Kiyoshi says " I have taught people how to play the ukulele over 10 years. There are a variety of ukulele students from beginners to intermediate to advanced students. Most of students never give up playing the ukulele, some of the people say, "I've never had experience playing musical instruments, so I may be nervous." However after they try playing the ukulele, they find joy and happiness when they are able to complete a song. That's the attraction of ukulele. We have a lot of good ukulele text books that teach how to play, good ukulele schools, so now we have an environment for enjoying the ukulele without prior knowledge and experience. We can enjoy playing ukulele solo-style, ensemble with ukuleles or other musical instruments, so we have many way for enjoying the ukulele. I wish many people would have a fun playing the ukulele in each of their favorite style."

Kiyoshi Kobayashi has established "the Ukulele Orchestra of Japan". He believes there are countless possibilities on the ukulele. He says, "Because ukulele makes music, and music is so important for people to live a full life." "How wonderful the fingers which play the ukulele, for they bring an impressive message, and express the feelings of the heart of one's mind.

Rolling Coconuts / Ukulele JournalRollingCoconuts Digital

Ukulele Free Magazine

In 1998, the ukulele free-magazine,"Rolling Coconuts" was born in Japan.It has been only the free magazine for ukulele fans in Japan. Chisato Tsuwano, the publisher and chief editor of "Rolling Coconuts" says "This magazine is like a bridge between ukulele shop, manufacture and ukulele fans". "Rolling Coconuts" is published 4 times in a year and has attained #53 in the end of 2011. Lately, "Ukulele Journal Rolling Coconuts Digital" a digital magazine by using PC, smart-phone, and tablet PC like "iPad", has debuted.