Kohei began travelling at the age of 19, after studying Violin professionally in Japan. His nomadic path moved to around 7 countries but it was in India, where he found a life changing inspiration. He discovered Bihar as he chanced upon visiting the slums and orphanages in rural villages, a new sense of understanding dawned upon him.
He states that he felt an intense desire to share the music he has been playing with the kids, as music is therapeutic. It was this decision that changed his life goals and he moved to India permanently and is now in Delhi studying Hindi so he could impart violin training to people. He wants to become a music teacher in India and teach underprivileged kids across the country. He now speaks and writes Hindi perfectly.
How was it to change and immerse into such a distinct culture from Japan?
“I love the culture in Japan, its very polite and really fast changing. However, one cant be direct and open in Japan, there are too many etiquettes and layers to words which destroy the essence of real communication, I prefer it open and clear. I like India; people here are really direct and things just happen. I never felt as happy and myself in Japan, as people are forever busy making money and work like robots. There is no time for family, friends or to think where life is going. I love my culture but I am different from them. I feel amazing here in India, since there are very few great violinists in the country – I feel I can change things here, which is brilliant.
You moved out at a very young age, how did your friends and family respond to your life change?
Of course there were differing opinions initially. I told my mother that I wanted to study Hindi and wanted to go to India forever but since I passed out of a very prestigious music school and was good at what I did, she expected me to become a professional violinist in Japan. However, things changed when I made her believe how unhappy I’d be otherwise, and she understood. I decided to visit them but I had to move out. Eventually with time, everyone is happy, and am finally getting close to my big goal.
What was your most amazing moment in India?
Two years ago, I was busking around the ghats in Varanasi playing Violen, and a Pandit (Hindu Priest) heard me play, and offered me to play along the Aarti that very evening at the ghats. It was a surreal moment since it was as if India was truly accepting me, as I played violin on my dedicated mike, and with over a thousand devotees. It really was a special moment since people come from all over the world to see incredible Aarti, and I was able to add my music to it.