Some thoughts about...

To perform traditional satsuma-biwa music
A challenge for communication

One of means for communication with the people in the world. It is a challenge for sharing an emotion, which is evoked when you touch the significant dignity facing to the deepness which has been continuously developed through the tradition. My biwa teacher, Ms. Kinshi Tsuruta was convinced that everywhere in the world, the biwa music can be understood. One may regard that one of the most important elements of the story-telling is the sound of the voice and the breath which contain human’s thoughts, feeling and deep sense. The most impressive element is not the meaning of the words, but the sound of the voice and the timing 'MA' of the breath.

To sing
Returning to the stars

An imagination: The human being is a child created from the stars wandering in the universal space. Then, now, by the action of singing, the small energy of voice or a vibration wave of the sound goes to the air. The wave continues traveling in the universal space. A little energy of the voice goes back to the universe where once human was created. A little energies of the voice are piled up in the universe and again continue wandering in the space like stars. If the imagining the universe is the existence of the universe itself, does my voice also continue to wander in the space as an evident energy of the existence of the universe?

To play the Biwa
Happiness of beautiful noise

One of the most characteristic effects of the biwa sound is "sawari" effect. "Sawari" means "to touch". Through touching, it creates mixture, distortion, waves and finally a complex noise which may consider as beauty. The sawari sound seems to symbolize the aspects of the nature or the universe. Listening to this "beautiful noise" (Tôru Takemitsu said) might be an act of a kind of meditation.

To play new composition and improvisation
Sounds in outer and inner cosmos

Strictly I want to treat the sound of the biwa as it is. Without connecting with any kind of idea, concept or judgement, act strictly to put the sound very carefully in the space where it vibrates freely as a being itself. Like being embraced by the sudden appearance of the nature, I wish to lead audience to the world of the sound and open their ears without any thoughts. I strongly wish that the sound would be a wave which travels and vibrates soundly in an inner cosmos of each person.
A voyage towards something universal.
An admiration towards something meditative.
And through the act of music,
a challenge towards healthy and peaceful world and common feelings to share with the people.
Music is an essential food for the heart of the people.


  • CD Meditative Flowers:
    Junko Ueda performing repertoire from the 1200 year-old Japanese traditional Shomyo Buddhist chant.
    CD Meditative Flowers:
    Junko Ueda interpretando canciones budista tradicional japonés de Shomyo, un repertorio del siglo VIII.
    CD Meditative Flowers:

  • CD Satsuma-Biwa:
    solo CD by Junko Ueda performing traditional biwa music as well as a modern-style composition by Toru Takemitsu.
    CD Satsuma-Biwa:
    CD solo de Junko Ueda interpretando música biwa tradicional así como una composición moderno de Toru Takemitsu.
    CD 薩摩琵琶:

  • CD Japon - L'épopé des Heike:
    Junko Ueda with traditional satsuma-biwa repertoire from the Hieke Monogatari, recorded at Hiei-zan Temple, Japan.
    CD Japon - L'épopé des Heike:
    Junko Ueda interpretando canciones budista tradicional japonés de Shomyo, un repertorio del siglo VIII.
    CD Japon - L'épopé des Heike:

  • The Biwa Vocab is a vocabulary catalogue and sound library of the satsuma-biwa by Junko Ueda.