The band KAO = S combines Art Rock with traditional Japanese music into a unique genre mix. The singer and frontwoman Kaori Kawabuchi is also a well-known sword fighting performer and has worked for the video game series Final Fantasy as a motion capture artist.
Mao and Miri Kitamura appear as the Shamisen duo KITAMURA SISTERS. Both solo and duo, the sisters have already won numerous awards for their Shamisen game. On the MAIN MATSURI you will not only play traditional Japanese music but also many of your own compositions. Her father Masataka Kitamura will also travel to the festival and perform together with his daughters.
Together with the Kitamura Family this year for the first time the Japanese instrument Koto will be heard on the Main Matsuri. The 23-year-old koto player Yoshiaki Okawa from Fukushima belongs to the Kitamura school. Not only does he play traditional music, he also performs regularly with J-Pop singers on stage. Another special feature is that he designs and sews all his stage costumes himself. In Frankfurt he will perform solo as well as in duet with voice or shamisen. He is the first winner of the national Koto competition and has won the award of the Ministry of Culture.
The dance groups Rhythm Speaker and Razaris perform under the direction of Noritaka Furusho and Taiki Hashizume. A total of about 20 dancers combine traditional tap dance with modern hip-hop elements and at the end of each festival day they will present a large ensemble performance with all present artists.
Seimo Yamaguchi plays the Japanese flutes Shakuhachi and Shinobue. After starting his career as a DJ in Osaka, he started a successful solo career as a flutist after a stay in the New York music scene. On the MAIN MATSURI he will present his music on the world’s only shakuhachi, tuned to 528 Hz – a tone frequency that is said to have a healing effect.
With Kazuya Usui, this year’s Main Matsuri will be the first live paint artist ever. His traditional, ink-painted motifs take you back to the Edo era. He paints old traditional motifs, such as dragons, with ink. Often, Mokyo Usui also uses music for his paintings – he will also perform on stage at the Main Matsuri with live musical accompaniment by Shami Rock. After completing his design studies, he painted Japanese patterns on clothing and T-shirts and later founded his own fashion brand “Hasui”. At the Main Matsuri, he will have a booth where the audience can paint and buy motifs on T-shirts, paper umbrellas or compartments immediately.
TJ is from Saitama and is a 30 year old solo singer. At the age of 11, he started to take part in singing and dancing competitions and won prizes early on. He was born in Manila, is half Japanese, half Filipino and speaks 3 languages fluently. In 2013 he made his debut as a singer of the Hit Idol group 5ignal. At the Expo 2018 in the Philippines, he was able to inspire 150,000 visitors. Since 2018 he has also made his debut as a solo singer with the hit song “Do not you say”.
Taiko player Toshihiro Yuta has been thrilling audiences around the world for 20 years! For his style, which enriches traditional Japanese drums with modern sounds, he has gained international recognition.
Yoshihiko Fueki is a dynamic taiko player from Nagoya, who will appear for the first time at Main Matsuri. He grew up with various Japanese traditional musical instruments and since 2001 he appears as a professional taiko player. In 2011 he founded the music group “Aramaho” Projekt Unit, which consists exclusively of Japanese instruments. In 2014 he organized a big tour through Japan “Tradition and Creations”, which was very successful due to the sensational stage art. He’s been on concert tours all over the world and also gives Wadaiko workshops. In 2016 he was invited by Wacken Open-Air in Germany.
Mitsuru Kijo was a member of the Takarazuka Musical Revue founded in 1913 in Hoshi-gumi. Her focus there is the embodiment of male roles. She was admitted to the theater as a 17-year-old girl and was on stage there until 2017. Since 2018 she works as a freelance singer.
Senyumeji Nishikawa has lived in Frankfurt since 2005. She became a teacher. As a dancer she has performed in many European countries.