Keishi Shikata passes

Vassar Clements, Buddy Spicher, Keishi ShikataBluegrass music isn’t confined any longer to the rolling hills of western Kentucky or the peaks and valleys of Appalachia. It is acknowledged and enjoyed world-wide.

One person who has helped to foster interest in the music in the wider sense is the Nashville correspondent for the Japanese language bluegrass music journal, Keishi Shikata. Sadly, we have learned that he passed away on Sunday evening, August 3, near his home north-east of Nashville.

The Publisher and Editor of MoonShiner, Saburo ‘Sab Watanabe’ Inuoe spoke emotionally about his friend and colleague ‚Ķ‚Ķ

“I have to report a sad news. My friend, Keishi Shikata who made the bridge between Japan and Nashville passed away last night while jogging near his home in Hermitage, Tennessee.

He worked for Gruhn Guitars in the 1970s and made friends in (the) bluegrass community both in Japan and Nashville. He organized the Japan tours for late Vassar Clements, Cluster Puckers (March 1995) and others; the Japanese TV-CM for Nissan by using (the) Blue Sky Boys’ song Sunny Side of Life with Chris Sharp, Ronnie Bowman and others.

He wrote ‘Keishi’s Nashville Report’ every month for my MoonShiner magazine to let Japanese bluegrass fans know what’s going on in Nashville bluegrass scene.

I just want you to know that we lost a great person who loved people, music and bluegrass.”

Shikata contributed his column for MoonShiner for over 12 years. MaryE Yeomans remembers him as always being friendly and he laughed a lot.

The funeral service will take place today, Sunday, August 9, from 4-6 p.m. at Oceanway Studio A, at 1200 17th Avenue South in Nashville, Tennessee (at the corner of Edgehill and 17th Avenue). The number at Oceanway is 615-320-3900.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.