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Yocoh, Yuquijiro (1925-25th December 2009)

He was a composer and guitarist born in Hita City, Oita Prefecture, Japan who first came across the guitar when his brother brought one home from school in Kyoto.  He was self-taught and went on to specialise in playing the instrument.  His parents enrolled him at the Gyeongseong Dental College but against their wishes he dropped out to concentrate on composing and playing the guitar.

Not long after leaving the college he was sent to serve in Manchuria and after he returned home from the war his mother handed him his guitar, which she had kept safe for him.  He then completed the composition he had started before he went to war which he called Sonatine Dedicated to His Mother.

He performed his first recital in the classical guitar world and in 1959 met the guitarist Andres Segovia when he visited Japan.  He arranged works by many European  composers such as Mozart, Bach, Cimarosa and Scarlatti into guitar pieces and at the same time wrote his “Variations on Sakura“, which later gained international acclaim.

He also arranged and “Theme and Variations on Hanyu no Yado”, transcribed as “My Humble Cottage” and known in the western world as “Home! Sweet Home!” which had been written by Sir Henry Bishop and John Howard Payne.

His trademark signature has “Y . Y” hidden in it which is depicted by a hand holding a guitar.

He died in 2009 when he was 83 years old.

Hilary Field recordings
Variations on Sakura(Yuquijiro Yocoh)
YTC-10103 (CD: Hilary Field: Ballad Stories)
Guitar – Hilary Field
Seattle String Quartet
ViolinTom Dziekonski
ViolinEllie Marie Gray
ViolaLeslie Johnson
CelloPage Smith Bilski