Dr. Joseph Gashō Amato, Founder and Executive Director
      Dr. Amato received his Ph.D. in composition in 1998 from New York University with primary studies in Italian contemporary music. In 2000, he was awarded the prestigious Bunka-chō Japanese Government Artists Fellowship to pursue formal study of Japanese music history and Japanese traditional musical instruments at Seiha Hōgaku-kai. Since then, he continued studies receiving his teaching license (junshihan) and his professional name Gashō in 2003.
      Currently, he is founder and director of the International Center for Japanese Culture since its inception in 2011. Before ICJC, Dr. Amato founded the Yokohama International School Japanese music program in 2003 and served as its director until 2011.
      Pursuing his work on sharing Japanese traditional music and culture on the international level, in 2017 Dr. Amato founded and serves as President of Japanese Culture Promotion and Management an NPO dedicated to supporting Japanese traditional arts and culture. He is founder and coordinator of the Morikami Museum Japanese traditional music program located in Delray Beach, Florida, USA. In addition, he continues as director of the Seiha Hōgaku-kai International Summer School which he established in 2016.
      Teaching positions and special lecturer posts have been held at Robert Stockton College of NJ, Fukuoka International School, Heidelberg College, Seiha Hōgaku Gakuin and Yokohama National University.

Christopher Yohmei Blasdel, Japanese Performing Arts Advisor
      Christopher Yohmei Blasdel began the shakuhachi and studies of Japanese music in 1972 with Japan’s Living National Treasure Gorō Yamaguchi and continued with the master until his death in 1999. In 1982, Blasdel received his MFA in ethnomusicology from Tokyo University of the Arts and was honored with the professional name "Yohmei" from Yamaguchi in 1984—the first of only two non-Japanese accredited by Yamaguchi. Blasdel’s shakuhachi repertory is deeply rooted in the classic styles of sankyoku ensemble playing and the lofty solo honkyoku music, but he is also known for his precise performances of contemporary music and improvisational abilities.
      Presently, Blasdel performs around the world and has taught at such prestigious institutions as University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, International Christian University in Tokyo, Temple University (Japan), Earlham College (Indiana), Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand), Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas), University of Washington (Seattle), Charles University (Prague) and many others.