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Takeshi Terauchi
Nippon Guitars

Big Beat Records

Regular price
$45.00 SGD
Regular price
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$45.00 SGD


A TAV Curator's Pick.

Legendary is a word too often used when writing about musicians. Takeshi Terauchi is no myth, more an elemental force and surely a nominee for the status of Living National Treasure – a first for a rock musician in Japan. While not exactly well known in the West, he has received praise over the years from artists as diverse as the Ventures and Jello Biafra.

You don’t want to mess with Terry, as he is commonly known. An 8th Dan of the Wado school of Karate and a Zen master of the Zuiganji temple, he is also a pioneer in the history of Japanese guitar music, record producer, author and businessman who still finds time to play for charity. Terauchi is a hard drinking (or used to be), guitar-shredding maverick who ruled his band with an iron fist while his free hand gave the tremolo arm lessons in tensile strength. His early recordings date back to the late 1950s, with the country and western outfit Jimmy Tokita and the Mountain Playboys. Now in his early 70s, he is still going strong.

Terauchi has released a vast number of records in his long career, embracing country, surf, Hawaiian, rock’n’roll, funk, classical and more. He rode the wave of the Eleki boom, a musical style encompassing surf and beat instrumentals. The fuse was lit by the Ventures’ first trip to Japan in 1962, although the trend started in earnest in 1964, when Terauchi and media promoter Nabe Pro organised a huge bash headlined by the Animals and the Ventures at the Kousei Nenkin Kaikan in Tokyo. This was the year that Takeshi Terauchi and the Blue Jeans released their debut album “Korezo Surfing” (Let's Go Surfing).

Sales of electric guitars in Japan rocketed, the demand so great that even the burgeoning electrical corporations produced their first models. There were several bands playing Eleki – notably the Spacemen and Yuzo Kayama and the Launchers – but, armed with his custom red Fender Jaguar, Takeshi Terauchi and his Blue Jeans led the vanguard.

Terauchi rejects suggestions that he was influenced by the Ventures, although they were certainly no hindrance to his rise, and he often played a Mosrite, a gift from the band. He is adamant that his music emanates from Japan, and the tracks on this collection stand as a testament to the fact. Many are versions of traditional Japanese folk songs (Minyo), a style that became much copied. Terauchi’s speedy “shredding” technique could be said to echo Tsugaru shamisen, a unique blues-like style of percussive, semi-improvised playing from northern Japan. He revisited some of these standards for his 1974 album “Tsugaru Jongara” with the re-formed Blue Jeans.

Here is a selection of some of the finest beat instrumentals, traditional-infused nuggets and later raw Tsugaru-influenced workouts from his long and varied career.  – Ace Records

“The Sixties instrumental surf craze hit postwar Japan with the same seismic magnitude as Beatlemania. Takeshi "Terry" Terauchi proved the incomparable leader of the movement as a Zen master Buddhist and quicksilver guitarist with violent, needlepoint precision. As bewitching as the Sonics or the 13th Floor Elevators at peak levitation, Nippon Guitars collects the greatest hits from his two most prominent groups, the Bunnys and Blue Jeans. Terauchi achieved national acclaim for his fusion of Japanese traditionals and the modern eleki boom, captured here in opening riptide "Ganroku Hanami Odori" from 1967 as well as the tremolo terror of "Hoshi Eno Tabiji (Journey to the Stars)," which sounds like a lost translation of the Pulp Fiction theme. That Eastern accent makes Terauchi's body of work an asterisk in the surf rock canon, instantly familiar like the Bo Diddley beat, an effect heightened by oriental touches in the hypnotic "Sado Okesa" and "Touryanse," the latter rising like a sun-dazed mirage in a Kurisawa Western. Side two of the vinyl unfolds a near-sequential and heavy awakening: kerosene dream "Nambuzaka Yuki No Wakare," serene ballad "Tsugaru Yamabiko Uta (Mountain Echo)," and closing chase scene "Tsugaru Eleki Bushi." Nippon Guitars offers more than a retrospective; it's a revelation.” – The Austin Chronicle

Item description:        


Takeshi Terauchi


Nippon Guitars


Big Beat Records


Vinyl, LP, Compilation



Release Date:



World, Rock


Surf, Rock & Roll

Catalog No:

WIKD 297