A short biography of myself

My name is Taka.

I play Irish traditional music on the fiddle, banjo, and tin whistle etc.

fiddle player Taka

I am from Japan. I was born in Tokyo and grew up in Saitama. Saitama is a county beside Tokyo.

Location of Saitama
Location of Saitama in Japan (Click to enlarge)

I first got interested in Ireland when I was 14 or so.

I was keen on cycling at the time and my dream was to ride the Tour de France.

When the Dublin-born cyclist Stephen Roche won the Tour de France in 1987, I became a big fan of him and I also became interested in his home country Ireland.

Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche was my hero

Stephen Roche in the 1987 Tour de France

I first came to Ireland in 1997.

That was ten years later since victory of Stephen Roche in the Tour de France.

the first house I ever lived in Ireland
the first house I ever lived in Ireland

I first went to a private English language school in Dublin to study English but my main purpose of staying in Ireland was to see the Tour de France in Ireland.

In 1998 the Tour de France was due to start in Dublin to commemorate 200 years anniversary 1798 revolution.

Tour de France in Ireland
Tour de France started in Dublin in 1998

My plan was to study English first, then travelling in Ireland on a bicycle, and before return to Japan watching the Tour de France in Ireland.

So I didn’t know anything about Irish music and I had never played any instrument before I came to Ireland.

While studying in Dublin, I had a chance to visit Cultúrlann na hÉireann. A couple of friends at the school invited me to go there together to see a show of Irish music and dancing.


[photos above] one of the stage performance of Irish traditional music and dancing I ever saw in my life

When I saw the performance of Irish music and dancing for the first time, I really like the whole sound of the music and I started buying CDs of Irish traditional music.

Eventually I became interested in playing Irish music myself and got my first tin whistle in a souvenir shop.

tin whistle in a souvenir shop
I bought my first tin whistle in a souvenir shop

Since then I got really hooked up with Irish music.

After I returned to Japan I continued to practice the tin whistle and I started to learn other instruments as well.

I started to play the banjo after the tin whistle
I started to play the banjo after the tin whistle
the banjo was made by Dave Boyle
the banjo was made by Dave Boyle

Alongside short visit to Ireland in the summer to attend the Willie Clancy Summer School, in 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2010 I stayed in Ireland about a year to learn music.

Miltown Malbay
willie clancy week

[photos above] the first ever Willie Clancy Week I attended

So far I have taken lessons from Joan Hanrahan, Brendan Larrissey, Martin Hayes and Vincent Griffin.

Joan Hanrahan
with Joan Hanrahan. I studied with her at Cois na hAbhna in Ennis
Martin Hayes
with Martin Hayes

Vincent Griffin was a my neighbour when I was living in Feakle, Co. Clare in 2010.

Vincent Griffin
with Vincent Griffin. he was my neighbour when I was living in Feakle, Co. Clare

Vincent Griffin plays the fiddle in my house in Ayle, Fekle, Co.Clare

I have taken the SCT exam which is the examination for Irish traditional music organised by Comhaltas and I have passed the SC2 grade for my fiddle playing.


I took the SCT exam in 2006 and passed the SC2 grade.

In 2015 I passed the TTCT exam which is a traditional music teaching certificate or from Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in Dublin, Ireland.

Now I play and teach Irish traditional music in my home town in Saitama in Japan.

Unlkie Tokyo, Saitama is not very populated town but I am very keen on promoting Irish music here.

countryside in Saitama
Countryside in Saitama. It looks like the countryside in Ireland

My Days in Ireland

I lived in Ireland between 2010 and 2011. The place where I lived in Ireland called “Ayle” which is located in the village of Feakle in Co. Clare.Feakle is a well-known place among traditional music enthusiasts.

Feakle hosts traditional music festival every year.

entrance to the parish of Ayle in Feakle, Co Clare
entrance to the parish of Ayle in Feakle, Co Clare
  “The Ayle Lodge” is a gatehouse located in the parish of Ayle in Feakle.
“The Ayle Lodge” is a gatehouse located in the parish of Ayle in Feakle.
I lived in this gatehouse during my stay in Feakle.
I lived in this gatehouse during my stay in Feakle.

The Old Ayle House.
The Old Ayle House.
The Ayle House appears in the O’Neill’s 1001. When Francis O’Neill visited Feakle he stayed at the Ayle House.
The Ayle House appears in the O’Neill’s 1001. When Francis O’Neill visited Feakle he stayed at the Ayle House.
One of the  best known musician from Feakle is a fiddle player Vincent Griffin.
One of the best known musician from Feakle is a fiddle player Vincent Griffin.
   Vincent Griffin’s house in Ayle in Feakle. His house is located just a hundred yards from my house.
Vincent Griffin’s house in Ayle in Feakle. His house is located just a hundred yards from my house.

Remains of the Biddy Early's cottage  in Kilbarron in Feakle.
Remains of the Biddy Early's cottage in Kilbarron in Feakle.
Biddy Early was a well known harbalist lived in Feakle. There is a hornpipe called "Biddy Early" in the O'Neill's1001.
Biddy Early was a well known harbalist lived in Feakle. There is a hornpipe called "Biddy Early" in the O'Neill's1001.
 Johnny Patterson's memorial plate in the Main Street of Feakle
Johnny Patterson's memorial plate in the Main Street of Feakle
He is another famous person from Feakle.
He is another famous person from Feakle.
The birthplace of Johnny Patterson in Kilbarron in Feakle.
The birthplace of Johnny Patterson in Kilbarron in Feakle.


Since I first became interested in Ireland by cycling, I cycled many part of Ireland during my stay in Feakle.

I cycled the whole of the East Clare way. The East Clare Way is a long-distance trail in Co. Clare.

It is a 112-mile long circular route that begins and ends in Killaloe.


While I was living in Ireland I also took a part in various cycling events held in various part of Ireland.

Cycling in Burren Co Clare during the Skyride Etape Hibernia.
Cycling in Burren Co Clare during the Skyride Etape Hibernia.
At the start line of the An Post Meath Cycle Heritage Tour.
At the start line of the An Post Meath Cycle Heritage Tour.

I also entered running events too.

running in Dublin city during the Dublin City Marathon
running in Dublin city during the Dublin City Marathon
 I was on the Clare Champion after the East Clare 10K.
I was on the Clare Champion after the East Clare 10K.

I also enjoyed walking on the various mountains in many parts of Ireland

I climbed all of the highest points in 32 counties of Ireland.

On the top of Carrauntoohil the highest point of Ireland.
On the top of Carrauntoohil the highest point of Ireland.
On the top of Lugnaquilla the highest point of Wicklow and also Leinster.
On the top of Lugnaquilla the highest point of Wicklow and also Leinster.

On the top of Slieve Donard the highest point of Ulster.
On the top of Slieve Donard the highest point of Ulster.
On the top of the Mweelrea. the highest point of Connaught.
On the top of the Mweelrea. the highest point of Connaught.