On November 6, 2021, this hot music event involving the local community was held at the Chiba Toso Cultural Hall in Asahi, Chiba!
The event is called the ‘1st TOSO ART ROCK FESTIVAL’.
This event was originally scheduled to be held in 2019, but due to COVID-19, it was postponed for two years but it finally happened this year.
The event was sponsored by 0479 Club. What is this number? It is the telephone area code of that area. 0479 Club is an organization that was established by Mr. Shinichi Ichikawa, a local bassist, to vitalize the Toso area in Chiba prefecture (Choshi, Asahi, Sosa, Yokoshibahikari, Tako, Shibayama, Sammu, Kamisu), all of which have the area code 0479, using the power of the arts.
This live event was planned with the hope that the locals could enjoy good music. We enjoyed the performances by musicians who the international bassist Mr. Ichikawa respects and would never disappoint us for just 3,000 yen. I think you know how amazing this is!
Even during COVID, tickets were completely sold out for this long-awaited event!
In order to prevent the risk of COVID-19 infection, the audience wore masks and instead of yelling or screaming praise for the musicians, they sent cheers to the stage by gesturing without voice.
As the start time came, Mr. Ichikawa, the representative of the 0479 club, appeared on the stage for a so-called declaration of the opening of the event with no BGM or lighting effects.
I was struck by the strange feeling of a musician full of aura greeting in such an ordinary way, but I felt Mr. Ichikawa’s sincere appreciation toward the Toso area, and I’ve become his fan again. (I become a bigger fan every time I meet him.)
The memorable opening of the first TOSO ART ROCK FESTIVAL was performed by the Japanese-Western eclectic festive band, Kotobuki Band. There was a lively stage full of entertainment full of Japanese flavor with a shamisen, shakuhachi, and a folk singer with dancers! Although the audience was at first taken aback by the unique choreography, as time went on they seemed to want to participate more and more with the performers during the course of the concert.
I think many people were fascinated by the possibility that Japanese musical instruments could have such a presence in both rock and pop music.
Michiyoshi “Mitchell” Sato, a vocalist and shamisen player who was born near the 0479 area, so his stories about the local area made the audience laugh a lot. It was an exciting start to the event♪
For the latest information on Kotobuki Band, visit
Kotobuki Band Official Website
The second stage was the performance by BARAKA, the band by Mr. Ichikawa who was the organizer of this event.
Their performance was a unique style of a three-piece band that consisted of guitar, bass, drums, and pedal synths. “We express the scenery and the imagery with all instruments. Feel free to picture the scenery.” They advise the audience how to enjoy music without lyrics and invite them to the BARAKA world.
BARAKA played some of their older songs that still sound amazing even after so many years. Some songs were from the latest album Maverick and they also played some old songs that most of the audience knew accompanied by BARAKA’s special arrangement. We thoroughly enjoyed their rich sound.
Mr. Ichikawa teaches his bass techniques and his opinions based on his own experience in a video series which is entitled, “Bass Lessons Starting from the Basics”, and they can be watched from the Sound House webpage and from Sound House’s YouTube library. This was the first time that I got the chance to watch the entire live performance and I was completely awestruck by the fact that I could see Mr. Ichikawa’s techniques from his lesson videos come into reality on BARAKA’s live stage.
Here, you can see Mr. Ichikawa bestowing some of his valuable insight. He is already called a veteran but he still faces the musical instrument with a beginner’s mind as he says, “Always keep the basics in mind”.
For the latest information on BARAKA, visit
the BARAKA Official Website
The last band was JUNGAPOP led by drummer Ryoji Sakaguchi of the Kome Kome Club. The super-happy stage presence by this 25-year-old veteran band pulled the audience in with their powerful performance!
Once they enthralled the audience with their masterful technique and their musicality as an ensemble, next up was a naughty adolescent song...! It was a really fun performance and JUNGAPOP were great hosts!
But the audience wanted more! It seemed to be unexpected, but they said, “We are so incredibly happy to be here. Before ending the show, we would like to sing about the miracle of getting to meet all of you here today!” They then ended the show with a befitting song called “Kiseki” (=miracle). Regarding the artist lineup for this event, they told us a behind-the-scenes story, “We [JUNGAPOP] were surprised that the last band wasn’t BARAKA, but we gratefully accepted this considerate offer.”
For the latest information on JUNGAPOP, visit
JUNGAPOP’s Official Website
At the end of the event, all the performers gathered on the stage. With words of gratitude to the audience, “Thanks to everyone, the first performance of this event was a great success! Thank you!” They then showed how bonded they felt to the local community as they declared, “We are all 0479 friends!” as the event closed.
The next event is scheduled for Saturday, April 2, 2022! There will be a “Team ‘61" gathering at the Community Plaza Cultural Hall in Tako, Chiba!
For more information, please email the 0479 Club at email@example.com.
Team ‘61... A group of professional musicians who were born from April 2, 1961 to April 1, 1962.