Performer, composer, teacher and recording artist, Junko Chikushi is the granddaughter and disciple of Katsuko Chikushi, the late koto genius and founder of Japan’s Chikushikai koto and shamisen school. She is the second daughter of Miyoko Chikushi, second-generation Sōke (head of the school).
Junko is a graduate of the Faculty of Singing at Kyūshū Gakuen Women’s College. For many years, she has performed at venues in the United States, South East Asia and throughout Japan. She was a member of Tokyosphere, a group led by shakuhachi player John Kaizan Neptune that specialized in jazz music written for and played on traditional Japanese instruments. Junko has appeared on numerous recordings including “Chikushi Katsuko sōkyoku senshū” (The Collected Koto Works of Katsuko Chikushi), “Koto to gitā no shirabe” (Sounds of Koto and Guitar), “Gendai no hōgaku” (Contemporary Japanese Music), all released by Chikushikai, and on several JVC releases including “Tokyosphere” and “Gendai sōkyoku senshū” (Anthology of Contemporary Koto Pieces). In addition to her recordings, she has appeared live on the Japanese radio program “Hōgaku no hitotoki” (Time for Japanese Music) every year since 1979.
Junko is a board member of the Fukuoka Sankyoku Kyōkai and an instructor in the Department of Arts at the University of Kyushu. She is the incumbent third-generation Sōke of the Chikushikai school.