Yamaguchi, Motohumi , Japanese instrumentalist and composer; b. Tokyo, Nov. 7, 1954. After cello studies at Masashino Music Univ., he became the main flute and shamisen player for Kodo in 1980, a highly disciplined performing ensemble founded in 1971 by Tagayasu Den, a scholar of traditional Japanese arts, under the name Ondekoza (“demon drummers”); under the direction of a new leader, Kawauchi, the group was renamed Kodo (translating to both “heartbeat” and “children of the drum,” referring to the taiko that is so central to its performances). Kodo has given choreographed performances throughout Asia, the Americas, and Europe; in 1988 the ensemble held its first annual Earth Celebration on Sado Island, attracting performers from all over the world. Among his compositions for the group are Hae for Koto, Japanese drum, and Caribbean drum (1982), Tjanang Sari for Percussion, after Balinese gamelan (1987), and Kariuta for 2 Shinobue (Japanese flutes) (1989). Other members of the ensemble include Leonard Eto (b. N.Y., March 5,1963) and Yoshiaki Oi (b. Tokyo, March 28, 1951). Among Kodo’s many celebrated recordings are Kodo (1981), Kodo, Heartbeat Drummers of Japan (1985), and Blessing of the Earth (1989)..
— Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn /Dennis McIntire