Japanese musician Masa Takumi made history over the weekend by becoming the first Japanese artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album.
The composer and arranger accepted the award wearing a black jacket with cherry blossom embroidery, keeping with his album’s sakura — the Japanese word for cherry blossoms — theme.
“It feels like somebody else’s affair as I never thought I would receive such a prestigious award, but I will take the time to savor (this moment),” the Osaka native told reporters.
Described as a tribute to the beauty of cherry blossoms, the album features songs performed with traditional Asian instruments and showcases his blend of American and Japanese sounds.
Since making his recording debut in 2000 as a drummer in the rock band Siren, Takumi has transitioned into a composer and producer for popular Japanese pop groups, including Exile and Da Pump, and the South Korean girl group Kara.
In the 2010s, Takumi was also shortlisted for a Grammy award for his work with reggae musicians Sly and Robbie.
In addition to Takumi, several other Japanese musicians were recognized at this year’s Grammys.
Drummer and percussionist Keita Ogawa is a part of the New York-based jazz group Snarky Puppy, which won the award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.
Meanwhile, classical pianist Mitsuko Uchida was nominated for Best Classical Instrumental Solo but did not win.
Previous Grammy Award winners from Japan include Ryuichi Sakamoto, Kitaro and Tak Matsumoto, with conductor Seiji Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Orchestra being the most recent winners in 2016.