Nihon Ukulele Association


(Quote from page 99-100 of "Hawaiian Music and Musicians"edited by George S. Kanahele, published by University of Hawaii Press on 1979, under thepermission of UH Press)

Composer, steel guitarist, bandleader. Born: Honolulu, April 24th, 1909. Parents: Chizuko and Katsugoro. Married:Yoshie, October 26th,1934. Children: son and daughters. Education: Keio University Preparatory Course(1933). Raised in Honolulu until age 13: returned to Japan.

If Japan has a "Father of Hawaiian Music", the title belongs to Yukihiko Haida. He pioneered in the field of Hawaiian Music as a steel guitarist, teacher, bandleader, composer and promoter, and his influence has been felt by nearly all Japanese-Hawaiian music artists and aficionados.

Haida was born and raised in Hawai'i, but he returned at a young age to Japan when his father died. Thus, unlike his contemporaries, with the exception of Buckie Shirakata, he had firsthand knowledge of Hawaiian Music. Undoubtedly, it was an important advantage in his musical career. He started as a steel guitar player ---indeed, Japan's first. He was also the first man in Japan to play the National acoustic guitar(at a concert of the Moana Glee Club in 1931). Although largely self-taught, he went back to Hawai'i in 1933 and studied further with the steel guitarist M. K. Moke.

While in Hawai'i, Haida met Buckie Shirakata and was instrumental in persuading the young Nisei(second-generation Japanese) steel guitarist to try his luck in Japan. After a year, part of which time he spent at the University of Hawaii, he returned to Tokyo and brought with him Jerry Kurisu, a guitarist, to supplement his Moana Glee Club and to instruct young Japanese guitar players.

In 1935, he signed a contract with Victor Company of Japan and began recording. In a short time, he became a best-known steel guitar recording artist in the country, a reputation he still has today among many Japanese steel guitar fans. The Moana Glee Club, which he had organized in 1929, remained the principal showcase for Hawaiian music in Japan for many years. After its dissolution, he set up the New Moana(1945), which became one of the top group in the country. Teaming up with his brother, Katsuhiko, he produced some of the most acclaimed performances and recordings ever made in Japan.

While Haida has excelled as an instrumentalist and orchestra leader, he has probably achieved his best in the field of composition. Ha has written some 600 songs, both Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian. Some of his Hawaiian tunes include "Roselani", "Aloha Honolulu" and "Little Stars in Hula Heaven"(Victor STX-10162); "My Hawaiian Serenade"(Victor SJX-8515); and "Aloha Tokyo"(Victor LV-77). At age 67, he is still actively employed as a composer.

Among the positions he holds today is President of Nihon Ukulele Association.

[ After this article had issued, Mr.Haida passed away on October 16,1986. ]

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