Sawai Koto Academy, an “Ikuta-style” koto school, was founded in 1979 by Tadao Sawai who was already a well known koto player and composer.
There are 9 branches in Japan and 2 overseas branches. All Sawai members actively perform all over the world. Tadao Sawai, born in 1938, felt drawn to the sound of the Koto at an early age and began composing Koto music as a high school student. While attending Tokyo University of the Arts he became involved in various musical activities which were free from the constraints of traditional Japanese music. Many people were enchanted by Tadao Sawai’s talent and pressed for his koto lessons. Eventually he founded the Sawai Koto Academy.
Tadao Sawai’s music is deemed as one of the summits of modern Japanese composition in its creativeness and richness of musical expression while it also pursues traditional Japanese sound. His music has been widely accepted and loved by players and audiences who are looking for an up-to-date yet spiritually Japanese music. Tadao Sawai passed away in 1997 at age of 59. His spirit is now inherited by his son, Hikaru Sawai. Sawai Koto Academy is tirelessly making efforts to preserve a thousand-year tradition while having flexibility to accept the newest waves of music.