Mmomokusu Iwata

Momokusu Iwata
Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1993. Both parents are musicians. Momokusu grew up with wide variety of music. When he was an elementary student (9 years old), he was watching an animation, “Naruto”, on TV. He was quite shocked by the sound of Tsugaru Shamisen in the show. Immediately after that, he told his mother, “I want to play the Shamisen!” There happened to be a shamisen of his great grandmother who was a teacher of Japanese folk songs. He started practicing the musical instrument. In 2012, he was admitted to Tokyo University of the Arts and moved to Tokyo. He has been learning Nagauta Shamisen at school. He also joined “Mitsudomoe”, the Tsugaru Shamisen club of Waseda University. While he spent campus life, he was asked to participate Tojinsai of Momoiro Clover Z, and the back band of Takio Ito, who sang songs at Kohaku Utagassen, the very popular music show on every New Year’s Eve. Momokusu was invited to play in Oman when Oman and Japan celebrated the 40 th anniversary of establishing the diplomatic relations. He stayed about a week and played in front of the royal families and the state guests. He made a big decision during this trip. He and Hibiki Sawada, who was also a member of Mitsudomoe, decided to create a Shamisen unit,
Tokyo futari”. Tokyo futari won the 1 st prize of the group section of the 36 th World competition of Tsugaru Shamisen. In February, 2017, they released the 1 st album, “Tokyo futari”. Currently, Momokusu is actively playing in and out of the country with various artists: Tokyo futari, “AOI” which is the trio of University alumni, and a duo with a sax player. He plays not only the traditional folk songs, but also classic, jazz, rock, pops and dance music.
On the 4 th of August, 2018, he published a book of Shamisen scores, “Tsugaru style shamisen solo scores” (with his demonstration CD) from DoReMi publishing. This book contains how to play the instrument and includes a special interview article about himself. This book was ranked as the most popular shamisen book at Amazon.