In 1965 my grandmother gave me her old Bruno banjo ukulele. I didn't play it for over 40 years. I mean come on, it was a banjo and a ukulele for pete's sake! So, as a teen I taught myself guitar then as an adult I studied cello for 8 years. I never got good enough to play cello in the Jr. High orchestra and by the end I was sick of practicing by myself and, long story short, I started attending a local ukulele club. Before long I was hooked!
I love the tunes from the Great American Songbook and that has lead me to play mostly jazz. Honestly, I love just about every genre of music but I keep coming back to jazz for it's musical complexity and lyricism.
In college I majored in Japanese Studies and have spent my professional life owning and running Asia Business Group, working and living between the US and Japan. Over the years I've spent many long weeks in Japan missing my family and trying to stay busy on weekends. I've been to just about every music store in the Kanto-area and many beyond trying to satiate my hunger for music and assuage my loneliness.
Japanese are devoted to their hobbies, what ever they are. When a Japanese tells you the are an amateur at something, don't think "amateur" in the American sense. True amatuerism is alive and very well in Japan. This high level of dedication to their hobbies has spawned an entire industry designed to support the amatuer's endeavor. That's why in Japan you can find incredible instructional books, CDs, and to a lesser degree instruments, that you can't find elsewhere.
Friends often ask me if any of these materials are available outside Japan. Due to international copyright laws, many of the books are not. However, they can be ordered directly from Japan. Amazon would be the logical choice but their rules require a local Japanese ship to address. Fortunately there are other sources.
In these pages I will be sharing with you what I've found. If you click on the links you'll be taken to a website which will enable you to purchase the item for delivery in the US.
Finally, I hope that what I present improves your playing and increases your enjoyment of the ukulele.