The theatrical group Japone Artists have put together a tribute for koto player Makiko Goto, who has suddenly passed away on 16th of January 2021. Goto was part of Japone from the very beginning. The tribute video will consist therefore parts of performances the theatrical group did and messages from the members of Japone Artists.
Makiko Goto was seen as a top musician of the koto, a traditional Japanese instrument. She was also perceived as a great performer who has spread Japanese classic and contemporary music on koto throughout the world with her numerous accomplished performances.
Goto has received a lot of praise for this effort throughout her career. Toshio Hosokawa, who is seen as Japan’s pre-eminent living composer and has worked with Makiko Goto, stated the following: “She was the best koto player of my koto music.”
Besides her performance activities, she contributed to koto education in 1986 in Hawaii (USA) where Goto established a branch of the Sawai Koto School. Since 1992, Makiko Goto was living in the Netherlands and worked as an instructor of Sawai Koto in Europe. According to Utako Arakawa, soprano, vocalist and leader of theatrical group Japone Artists, Makiko Goto was the first person who she asked to perform together for the first show of Japone Artists and therefore was an important part for the formation of the theatrical group in 2016. Utako Arakawa: “To create a magnificent show of Japanese music and art with Makiko’s koto. That was my first motivation to form Japone Artists.”
This is just a small part of the career of Makiko Goto, more can be read on the official website of Makiko Goto, where a special message from Sawai Koto Europe can be read: “Makiko Goto Sensei was not only a virtuoso musician of the koto music, but she also carried her mission and effortlessly promoted Sawai Koto in Europe for 30 years. Her way was characterized by three focuses: contemporary music, familial koto groups, and Sawai Universal.”