Erenlai - Items filtered by date: Thursday, 14 January 2010
Thursday, 14 January 2010 21:12

Yo's Sitar

A Japanese musician bringing the Indian sitar to Taiwan

My name is Ryohei Kanemitsu but everyone calls me Yo. I have been playing the sitar since 2001, so for almost 9 years. I was 17 or 18 when I went to India for the first time. There I was introduced to the sitar and since then I have learnt the sitar and performed in Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Macau and of course, India and Bangladesh.

The first time I came to Taiwan was in 2006. My musical partner, Waka, who plays the tabla, invited me to come to Taiwan and to perform together.

In my case, India is special to me because my mum, when she was young, was traveling in India and nearby countries. Since my childhood, almost everyday she talked about India. She would cook Indian curry and make Indian tea. I always wanted to go to India.

The first time I went to India was not really for the sitar, I just went as a traveler. I saw a sitar performance in Varanasi and it was really impressive, this was the first time I met the sitar. I studied sitar in India for a little bit and then went back to Japan. I then went back to India every year but in 2003 or 2004 I met my present teacher who is a great master of the sitar. I then stayed in India for 4 years, practicing a minimum of 8 hours a day and a maximum of 15 hours a day.

Now I live in Taipei, teaching and performing all around Taiwan.

Ryohei Kanemitsu was interviewed by Paul Farrelly.

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