Motoshige Kai is a deeply accomplished performer of shamisen, koto, kokyu and biwa. Based in Osaka, Japan, Kai has been performing professionally for three decades. He has studied Chikuzen biwa for many years with Kõka Suga and regularly accompanies her on her tours abroad. He is also a major Osaka teacher of the Tea Ceremony and this aspect sometimes appears as part of his stage presence.
Motoshige Kai is also one of the very few remaining masters of 'Heike' biwa (recitations from the Tale of Heike) and studied shamisen with National Living Treasure, Seikin Tomiyama and kokyu (bowed shamisen) with Mitsue Yokoi.
Since 1989, Kai has toured extensively in Japan and abroad including Holland, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, Shanghai, Dubai and France. He founded the performance group Kissho-kai.
with the assistance of her long-time student, Master musician Motoshige Kai .Kõka Suga has toured extensively world-wide and has received prestigious cultural awards in Japan, recognizing her musical accomplishments. The central themes of the Biwa music she performs are the Buddhist notions of transiency and stoicism. The sung poems are often excerpts from stories written through the ages, from contemporary tales to the Tale of Heike, a Thirteenth Century text with many historical stories illustrating the perverseness of human nature and our struggles with the business of life and death.
Suga-sensei has been playing the Japanese string instrument, the biwa for almost 70 years. She has a distinguished career as one of the foremost biwa masters of Japan. She lives in Komyo-ji temple in Osaka where her husband was the temple priest. As a small child of 6, she was introduced to the biwa as a distraction after a family tragedy and it soon became apparent that she had enormous native genius.
She remembers hiding behind the altar listening to her teacher's clogs approaching the house, and having to be coaxed into her lessons with chocolate and dolls (for which she is now grateful!).
She first performed publicly at age 7 and received her teaching degree for Chikuzen biwa at age 12, and her Master degree at age 28 from Kyokusui Yamazaki , the National Living Treasure Biwa Master, with whom she has had a lifelong connection. Yamazaki-sensei is now almost 100 years old and it is generally understood that Suga-sensei will become her successor as Iemoto of the Shigin-gaku Yamato-ryu. Suga-sensei teaches in Osaka under the umbrella of her school, the Yamato Komyoji-ryu,