Japan's greatest violinists

Have you ever wondered "What are some Japanese violinists?" or "What are the most famous violinists in Japan?" In this article, we will see a list of notable and famous violinists from Japan. These violinists are among the most prominent in their field.

The list features Shinichi Suzuki, Hirotsugu Shinozaki and many others. These prominent violinists from Japan may or may not be alive at the moment, but what they all have in common is that they are all respected Japanese violinists.


Use this list of renowned Japanese violinists to discover some new violinists you are not familiar with. Don't forget to share this list and leave comments with friends.

Shinichi Suzuki - Creator of the Suzuki method

Suzuki Shinchi was born in the city of Nagoya on October 17, 1898. He was a Japanese musician, philosopher and educator and the inventor of the Suzuki international method of music education and developed a philosophy to educate people of all ages and abilities.


Shinichi spent his childhood working at his father's violin factory (now Suzuki Violin Co., Ltd). He started playing the violin at 17, with no access to vocational education, he listened to Mischa Elman's recordings and tried to imitate what he heard.

At 22, Marquis Tokugawa, a friend of Suzuki, convinced his father to let him study in Germany, where he studied with Karl Klingler. Even without any formal education, in Germany he spent some time in the custody of Albert Einstein.

It was there, in Germany, that he met and married Miss. Waltraud Prange (1905-2000). After his return to Japan, he formed a string quartet with his brothers and started teaching at the Imperial Music School and the Kunitachi Music School in Tokyo.

During World War II, his father's violin factory was bombed by American warplanes and one of his brothers died. The family was penniless for this, so Suzuki decided to leave his positions and move to a nearby city, where he built wooden airplane parts to raise some money.


Extremely poor, he taught orphaned children in the outer cities where he lived. He adopted one of his students, Koji, and began to develop teaching strategies and philosophies. He then combined practical teaching applications with traditional Asian philosophy.

The essence of his philosophy can be found in the following quotes:

"Teaching music is not my main objective. I want to make good citizens, noble human beings. If a child listens to good music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops discipline, sensitivity and resistance. He gets a beautiful heart. "
"Music is a language that goes beyond speech and lyrics - a living art that is almost mystical. This is where your emotional impact comes in. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven - without exception, living clearly and palpably in your life. music, and speak strongly to us, purifying ourselves, refining ourselves, and awakening in us the greatest joy and emotion. "
Japan's greatest violinists

Mari Kimura - Creator of Sub-Harmonics

Mari Kimura [まり木村] is a violinist and composer who was born in 1962. She is known for her use of sub-harmonics, which are achieved through special curvature techniques, they allow tones below the normal range of the instrument.

She is credited with "introducing" the use of violin subharmonics, which allow a violinist to play a full octave below the bass G on the violin without adjusting the pitch of the instrument.


Mari studied violin with Joseph Fuchs, Roman Totenberg, Toshiya Eto and Armand Weisbord. She also studied composition with Mario Davidovsky at Columbia University and music computing at Stanford University.

Kimura holds a PhD in performance from The Juilliard School. Since September 1998, she teaches a graduate class in Interactive Computer Music Performance na The Juilliard School.

Mari Kimura is the daughter of a renowned Japanese environmental architect, Ken-ichi Kimura. She grew up in a solar house designed by her father in Japan. Kimura has been composing for solo violin and violin with various media since 1991.

Karen Gomyo - Western Japanese

Karen Gomyo was born in Tokyo, Japan and grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she started violin lessons at the age of 5. At the age of 10, she moved to New York to study at the Juilliard School, at the invitation of the legendary pedagogue Dorothy DeLay.

At the age of 15, Gomyo won the International Concert Artists Young Auditions, beginning his international career as a soloist and chamber musician. She participates in esteemed orchestras, venues and with fellow colleagues around the world.

Gomyo participated in a documentary in 2014 about Antonio Stradivarius called “The mysteries of the supreme violin”, in which he is a violinist, guide and narrator, a program that was broadcast around the world on NHK World.

She was also invited to perform at the First Symposium for the Victims of Terrorism, held at the United Nations headquarters in New York in 2011. Karen Gomyo is also acclaimed for her interpretation of the music Nuevo Tango.


She worked with pianist and Astor Piazzolla's tango legend Pablo Ziegler and his partners Hector del Curto (bandoneon), Claudio Ragazzi (guitar) and Pedro Giraudo (double bass).

Yūko Shiokawa - The Immigrant Violinist

Yūko Shiokawa is a Japanese violinist who was born in 1946. Shiokawa was born in Tokyo and started studying violin at the age of 5. In 1957, his family emigrated to Peru, where he studied with Eugen Cremer and began to give concerts.

In 1963, he started master classes with Wilhelm Stross in Munich and with Sándor Végh in Salzburg from 1968. At 19, he received the Preis der Deutschen Musikhochschulen and the Mendelssohn Prize.


Shiokawa began his professional career in 1963, performing at the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Rafael Kubelík and at the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert von Karajan. Since then, she has played with most of the major orchestras in Europe, the United States, Japan and Israel.

She is also active in chamber music and solo recitals, especially with her husband, pianist András Schiff. She made numerous recordings, including Mozart's sonatas and Bach's sonatas and partitas solo.

In 1967, Rafael Kubelík allowed her to use her father's violin, Jan Kubelík, the Stradivarius “Imperador ex Gillot” made in 1715. She played this instrument until 2000.

Japan's greatest violinists

Other violinists from Japan

Violinists in this category are not inferior or superior to the previous ones. We just don't find much information about these renowned violinists. In fact, some of them were among the first in the ranking that I found.

Chisako Takashima [ちさ子高嶋] is a violinist who was born on August 24, 1968 and is represented by J-two. Below we can see some of his performances.

Hirotsugu Shinozaki was another renowned violinist from Japan who lived between 1902 and 1966, unfortunately we don't have much information about her and her appearances. We know that she was born in Fukuoka.

We cannot forget other Japanese violinists who are famous but I didn't find much information on the internet:

  • Isako Shinozaki;
  • Junichi Natsume;
  • Takehisa Kosugi;
  • Sayaka Shoji
  • Takehisa Kosugi;
  • Yuuko Shiokawa;