Hideki Togi

Hideki Togi

Hideki Togi

Hideki Togi

Hideki Togi, gagaku player, was born in Tokyo in 1959. The Togi family has a tradition of Gagaku (ancient Japanese court music) which can be traced back to the Nara period (1.300 years ago). Due to his father's job, Hideki spent his childhood abroad and grew up surrounded by various kinds of music including rock, classical and jazz. After graduating from high school, he joined the music department of the Imperial Household Agency. His main focus there was the Japanese instrument, the Hichiriki; however, he also gained experiences with the Biwa, Tsuzumi and cello; he also sang and danced.

By participating not only in the ceremonies at the Imperial Palace, but also in the overseas performances, Hideki has played an important role in introducing the traditional Japanese culture both at home and abroad, and promoting international friendship. In addition, he passionately creates his own music by combining the natural flavour of Gagaku with piano and synthesizers. Since moving into the limelight in 1996 with his debut album 'Togi Hideki, he has continued to generate one album after another. He has also held an Album Release Japan Tour every year since 1999. His 2000 album TOGISM2 received a Japan Record Award for best project. He has also won Gold Disc Awards for Album of the Year in traditional Japanese music eight times since his 2000 release Gagaku.

Introduction of three wind instruments

Gagaku has wind, string and percussion sections. The three wind instruments are the hichiriki, the sho and the ryuteki. When these three instruments are played together, heaven, earth and everything between become one. In this way, Gagaku represents a universe and has its own cosmology.

  • Hichiriki

    It is a bamboo flute with a reed and nine finger holes, similar in many ways to the oboe, which traces its roots to the hichiriki. It has a range much like that of the human voice. It is said to express the voice of those who live on earth - in other words, humans.

  • Sho

    It has seventeen bamboo pipes and is thought to resemble a phoenix at rest with its wings upright. It is capable of playing multiple tones simultaneously. It can be played either by blowing or inhaling.

    People of ancient times are said to have believed that the sound of the sho expressed a ray of heavenly light.

  • Ryuteki

    It is a bamboo flute with seven finger holes and a term written with the characters for “dragon flute”, represents the sound of dragon that flies in the space between heaven and earth.

World Heritage Concert

Has been goodwill ambassador to both France and Thailand. Has performed with the Belgian Chamber Orchestra in Holland, and has appeared in regularly scheduled performances with the Boston Pops in America. Performed in Moscow, Russia; Angkor Wet, Cambodia (a World Heritage Site), Basilica di San Francesco, Italy (a World Heritage Site), Shanghai Spring International Festival in China; at Wat Arun in Thailand.

Concerts in Japan

Formed the group ‘TOGI+BAO’ with the best young musicians from Shanghai and achieved great success in performances throughout Japan, the World Expo in Aichi, Shanghai, Beijing and Angkor Wat. In 2008, he led the 10th anniversary edition of ‘The New Year Gagaku Japan Tour’ and inspired a new dynamism into the performance of Gigaku (an ancient mask dance). In recent years he has collaborated with the violinist Iwao Furusawa.


Composed all the music of the documentary series ‘NHK Special ~The universe--Traveling to the unknown’ 2001年. Composed the music for a Mercedes-Benz TV advertisement. Composed the music for and appeared in Kyocera “Contax T3,” Lipton “Lipton the Tea,” Lotte “Green Gum,” Japan McDonald's, Kizakura “Karakuchi Ikkon,” and Daiwa Securities Group TV advertisements. Composed the music for the movie Blue Flame. Recently he is also showing his talent as an actor starring as Emperor Komei in the NHK history drama ‘Atsuhime’ (2008), starring as a murderer Yagi Hitoshi in TBS drama 'MR. BRAIN'as well as the film Genji Monogatari and NHK's drama Bitter Sugar.


Winner of the Japan Record Award for best project; 8 time winner of the Gold Disc Award; winner of the Yomiuri Theatrical Award for best music; winner of the Education Minister's Art Encouragement Prize for Freshman.

Literary works

Non fictional works include ‘Gagaku. My Curiosity’, ‘Togi Hideki Photo Collection’, ‘Togi Hideki's Another Trip: The Wind and The Light of Southern France’, ‘Togi Hideki's Eternal Toy Box’, ‘How to live without Denying’. Illustrative works include the picture books ‘The Sound of Falling Lights’, ‘The Sound of Wind in Heaven’, ‘The Sound of the Moon and Stars’.

Recent oversea activities

The First World Heritage Concert in Uzbekistan Samarkand
Performances in Spain Zaragoza World Exposition
Second World Heritage Concert in South Korea Suwon
The Third World Heritage Concert in Vietnam Hue
August-October Japan Tour to more than 20 places
May The Forth World Heritage Concert in Turkey Istanbul

Future activities

  • 3/25 National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony

    Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D,C,
    Time: Pre-show reception 4-5PM, Opening ceremony, 5-6:30PM

  • 3/27 Opening reception for “Ryokan Ara & Hideki Togi, Double Exhibition” ~ Prayer for Love and Hope ~

    Location: Nippon Club, New York
    Time: 6PM~8PM (Reception) Gallery opens 10AM~6PM(Mon-Fri), 10AM~5PM (Sat)

  • 3/28 Hideki Togi with Iwao Furusawa [TOGI] ~1400-year heritage of Japanese Gagaku meets violin and piano~

    Location: Highline Ballroom, New York
    Time: 6PM open, 8PM start
    Ticket: $30, $50VIP seats

  • 3/29 Hideki Togi with Iwao Furusawa [TOGI] ~1400-year heritage of Japanese Gagaku meets violin and piano~

    Location: Castle on the Hudson, New York
    Time: 7:30PM (?)

  • - 3/30 Gagaku Workshop at UNIS (United Nations International School)

    Location: United Nations International School
    Time: 9:45~Performance (20mn), 10:20~12:15 Workshop (10min each with 8kids)