Takahashi Chikuzan (高橋竹山)(born Takahashi Sadazō in 1910, died 1998) was a renowned Japanese Tsugaru-shamisen performer and composer.
He was born in Kominato, a village that is part of the Hiranai township in Aomori prefecture. He lost his sight at around age two from measles before becoming a live-in apprentice of the Tsugaru-jamisen performer Toda Jūjirō near his home town. Before World War II he spent many years touring the Aomori and surrounding countryside, playing before doorsteps and making money any way he could. After the war he became more widely known, first as an accompanist for the famous Tsugaru folk song singer Narita Unchiku (who named him "Chikuzan"), and subsequently as a solo performer of the Tsugaru-jamisen repertory. His performances, for many years taking place regularly at a small venue called "Jan-jan" in Shibuya Ward of Tokyo, often featured long solo improvisations, which he entitled "Iwaki" after the tallest mountain in Tsugaru.
His most famous disciple, a woman who has assumed the name Takahashi Chikuzan II, continues to perform versions of Takahashi Chikuzan's repertory. Takahashi Chikuzan I made a huge number of recordings, some of which are still in print today. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.