Shoji Tabuchi

The National Fiddler Hall of Fame



Shoji Tabuchi

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Shoji Tabuchi (Born April 16, 1944)

A native of Osaka, Japan, Shoji Tabuchi has been acclaimed as one of the greatest entertainers in the world. He began his musical career on the violin at the age of seven through the Suzuki Method, now a universally accepted practice of teaching children music by ear starting at a very early age. The students listen to recorded music then try to recreate the sound they have just heard on their instruments. With time, Tabuchi began to appreciate his accomplishments and worked toward improving his talent. It was a time of classical study that would soon ignite the flame that would light his future.

Tabuchi attended St. Andrew’s University, a private school in Osaka, and earned a degree in economics. While there, he and his friends formed a bluegrass band, The Bluegrass Ramblers, and won two national collegiate band titles. He and a few friends decided to attend a local concert headlined by the legendary Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys. The high point of the evening, for Tabuchi, was the late, great Howdy Forrester’s signature rendition of “Listen to the Mockingbird.” The lilting bird-like quality of this one song was to have a lasting and profound effect on the young Tabuchi, ultimately changing the focus of his life. Shoji talked to Acuff following the concert and expressed his enthusiasm. “If you ever come to the United States, look me up” Acuff said. With these words of encouragement, Tabuchi decided to come to the United States and pursue his dream of playing American country music.

In 2006, Shoji Tabuchi was a recipient of the prestigious Missourian Award, acknowledging his contribution to Missouri tourism and his generous philanthropy throughout the state, with the likes of Harry S. Truman and Walt Disney. He has also received the Foreign Minister's Award from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Americanism Medal from the Daughters of The American Revolution for his outstanding achievements. Tabuchi was nominated two years in a row for Instrumentalist of The Year for TNN Music City News Country Awards, placing him among many nationally known artists and all- time country greats. He was also named Entertainer of The Year and four-time Instrumentalist of The Year by the Ozark Music Awards. Most recently, Tabuchi was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by Branson’s Terry Awards. He is also an honorary board member of The Suzuki Association of The Americas.

Shoji Tabuchi has had the distinct privilege to play for former President George H. W. Bush, as well as the honor of playing for former President George W. Bush and former Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, during a special White House state dinner.

Shoji Tabuchi’s many media appearances include 60 Minutes, CBS This Morning, Regis and Kathie Lee, To Tell the Truth, Nashville Now, The Ralph Emery Show, Ray Steven’s CabaRay, The Statler Brothers Show, public radio’s Whad’ ya Know? with Michael Feldman, and Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot, to name a few. Many national publications have recognized Tabuchi, including many national Japanese publications, U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, national travel industry magazine Destinations, TIME Magazine, National Enquirer, Midwest Living, and Southern Living.

Shoji Tabuchi was inducted into The National Fiddler Hall of Fame in 2020.