Ryo Hagiwara

Born in Tokyo. He started playing the shamisen with a yearning for Eddy Van Halen, and recruited his younger friends from college, Pierre Ono and Yasuto Torami, to begin performing on the streets. They continued heading in the wrong direction to that of comedy street performance, and passed the first "Heaven Artist" audition––for selecting licensed street performers who are officially recognized by the Tokyo Metropolitan government. After that, because Ryo knows how to get a laugh, and can MC fully in English, though not very good at it, he's been considered useful, and has become a shamisen entertainer who travels not only in Japan but around the world, thus going completely off the rails. He also has participated in tournaments as a member of the Tsugaru shamisen quintet "Orand", participated in the band "Project Wago", produced the ondo band "Karakara", and became a PADI diving instructor––basically, a nonsensical career. Other than learning the shamisen under the late master Toyoaki Fukushi, but he hasn't really lived up to their names.

Favorite things

Diving (PADI Instructor), boxing (Tyson, Pacquiao), Mark Twain, Paul Smith, games (Will Wright, Sid Meier, Fumito Ueda, Hideo Kojima) , Curiocity Cola

Major appearances

Festival Dell'Orienter (Milan, Italy), Jadwal Akara Japan Travel Fair (Jakarta, Indonesia), SAKURA MATSURI (Washington, DC, USA), Santa Fe JIN Festival (Santa Fe, USA), Artist in Piazza (Pennabilli, Italy), Wenig Fest in Großen Garten (Hannofer, Germany), The Station Inn (Nashville, USA), Osu Street Performance Festival (Aichi Prefecture, Japan), Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka (Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan), etc.

Major awards

Tsugaru Shamisen National Tournament Group / Second Place, All Japan Tsugaru Shamisen Tournament Group / Second Place, NTV License Trial Special Artist Award, NTV Grand Prix Special Award, Tsugaru Shamisen National Tournament Group / Second Place yet again, and some other so-so awards as a solo act.