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    "Tsugaru Shamisen World Championship" to be held in Hirosaki, with record number of entries

    "Tsugaru Shamisen World Championship" to be held in Hirosaki, with record number of entries

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    The Tsugaru Shamisen World Championships, where Tsugaru shamisen players from Japan and abroad will compete against each other, will be held at Hirosaki Civic Hall on May 3rd and 4th.

    This tournament has been held since 1982 as a place to let the sound of the Tsugaru shamisen, which has been passed down by many players and enthusiasts, resonate in Tsugaru, the birthplace of the instrument. It started as the "Tsugaru Shamisen National Tournament", but in 2014, the 33rd tournament was renamed to the current "World Tournament" in response to an increase in entries from overseas. It is positioned as a gateway to success for players both in Japan and abroad.

    On the day, there will be 10 categories to compete in, including the "Individual A Class" for advanced men and women, vocal accompaniment, and team competitions. On the first day, there will be Junior (15 and under) C Class, Senior (60 and over) C Class, team competition, Middle (40-59 years old) C Class, and vocal accompaniment B Class, and on the second day, there will be Youth (16-39 years old) C Class, Individual B Class, Vocal Accompaniment A Class, and Individual A Class.

    This year marks the 42nd tournament, and 290 people will participate in the individual competition, and 16 teams will participate in the team competition, making it the highest number of participants to date, at 342. Although the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's tournament has seen the number of participants return to pre-COVID levels.

    Executive Chairman Nobuaki Kojima said, "One reason is that the COVID-19 pandemic has calmed down, but another reason is that it has become widely known and established that the C-class (beginner division) is divided by age and is easy to participate in." There are four divisions in the C-class, and since it has the most participants, it shows the breadth of the Tsugaru shamisen population. Regarding the highlights, Kojima said, "People who have never heard the Tsugaru shamisen will be amazed at the high level of technique. The power of the sound itself, the changes in tone and the delicate expression of sound, and especially the A-class are the highlights of the high-level battle between professional players for the honor."

    Doors open at 9:00, performance begins at 10:00. Tickets for the day are 2,000 yen, tickets for both days are 3,500 yen.

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