Masa Takumi becomes first Japanese artist to win Grammy for Best Global Music Album

Masa Takumi becomes first Japanese artist to win Grammy for Best Global Music Album
via Recording Academy / GRAMMYs

"It feels like somebody else's affair as I never thought I would receive such a prestigious award," said Takumi

February 7, 2023

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 44-year-old artist, also known as Takumi Masanori, was recognized for his 2022 album “Sakura” at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.
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.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

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.

      Ryan General

      Ryan General is a Senior Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.