Izumi Kimoto
YAMATO leader
Born and raised in Hiroshima City
“As long as I have a voice, may my songs reach out and rest upon the hearts of everyon…” Such thoughts led to a fateful encounter with gagaku and created a completely new style of music.
Izumi started her career as a member of The Thoroughbreds, a female vocal trio led by Kyosen Ohashi of the popular late night TV show 11PM (Nippon Television Network). In 1978 she joined the jazz chorus ITS, which for many years held on to their listing as the top ranking popular chorus group in all jazz music magazines.
After the group broke up, Izumi went solo as a jazz singer and began to contemplate her identity. This is when she discovered the wonders and power of Japanese spiritual culture in Japan’s oldest form of music, gagaku. She would surely find a way to blend gagaku with western music.


Her new music is finally presented at a dinner show as part of the festivities to celebrate 1400 years of Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima.
Izumi takes her first step to realize her dream.
Concerts and dinner shows become yearly events.
Releases the CD MIYABI at Hiroshima’s world music festival co-sponsored by UNESCO, August In Hiroshima. MIYABI is a reflection of her own sorrow from losing her grandparents in the atomic bombing. It is a prayer for nuclear abolishment and for world peace.
Forms the group YAMATO to perform a fusion of gagaku and western music.
Releases the CD YAMATO.
May 17 - Invited to Japan Day events held in Düsseldorf and Solingen, Germany, on May 17th and is greatly received.
September 5 - Sings “Anatakara Anatae (From You and Back to You)” and performs “Entenraku (ancient Japanese court ensemble)” in the presence of Dalai Lama as an offering to commemorate the 1200-year anniversary of Kobo Daishi’s opening of Mt. Misen on Miyajima, moving the hearts of many.
September 11 - Visits Austria to attend the unveiling of a stone peace monument featuring a flagstone exposed to radiation in the 1945 US atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Presents song and gagaku at the Vienna monument.