Music From Home


Oregon Koto-kai


Strings Across Time and Space


Mitsuki Dazai

Josh Faber-Hammond

Amy Shoemaker

Rena Takahashi

(program details below)

September 4th, 2022

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Strings Across Time and Space

Sakura Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) Old Japanaese Song
Tsuchi-Ningyo (Clay Dolls) by Tadao Sawai
Koto (Old Capitol) by Shin Miyashita
Taka (Hawks) by Tadao Sawai
OKOTO by Hikaru Sawai
Ginyuka (Song of Troubadour) by Hikaru Sawai

Oregon Koto-Kai is a group of musicians passionate about playing the Japanese koto. Founded by Mitsuki Dazai in February 2012 with only six members, the ensemble held its first concert that fall at Epworth United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon. Since that time, the group has grown to 20 members, and they are featured artists at many festivals and venues throughout the Pacific Northwest each year.

Mitsuki Dazai graduated with a degree in Western Classical music at the Kunitachi College of Music, then became a student of the Koto at the Sawai Koto Institute in Tokyo. She continued her studies under Koto Master Kazue Sawai after completing the ensemble music course. Moving to the US in 2002 she started to teach and perform throughout the US, Europe, South America and Canada. Mitsuki is a founding member and instructor of Oregon Koto-Kai.
Josh Faber-Hammond started learning music at an early age with piano, trumpet, and drums, and throughout his music education, he developed an appreciation for music from all over the world. After seeing several performances by Mitsuki-sensei, learning and performing koto has become his primary musical pursuit. Josh is also a member of the Sawai Koto Institute and has his intermediate level certification.
Amy Shoemaker began playing koto in 2011 when she taught English in Japan and had the good fortune to be neighbors with a koto teacher. She joined Oregon Koto-Kai after moving to Portland, continuing to learn different styles and techniques during individual and ensemble lessons. She currently holds an intermediate-level certificate from the Sawai Koto Institute. Her dream is to build community through music.
Rena Takahashi was born and raised in Japan, and moved to RI in 1996. Inspired by Mitsuki’s performance at Portland Japanese Garden, she joined OKK in 2016, and has been loving it since. Her wild dream is to have jazz jam sessions with her son, who is a young aspiring bassist.
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