Born in Kobe in 1976, Yuichi Kimura first encountered taiko as a member of the high school taiko club. In the wake of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake that destroyed his home, Yuichi and his team performed taiko at evacuation centers in order to raise the spirits of those suffering. From that experience he felt the mysterious and invigorating effect of taiko on the audience, and decided to set his sights on becoming a professional taiko artist.
From the spring to summer of 1995, he joined Ichiro Jishoya’s group, Wadaiko Ichiro, and performed sixty concerts across Europe. In 1996, he encountered one of the leading experts in taiko, Eitetsu Hayashi, and came under his study as a member of his professional ensemble, Fu-Un no Kai. In 1997 he toured Europe again with Wadaiko Ichiro, performing a grueling 120 times in 6 months. From 1998-2002 he became a full-time supporting member of Eitetsu Hayashi’s Fu-Un no Kai and performed in concerts and events throughout Japan before returning to Kobe to perform with his hometown group.
In 2005, in observance of the 10th anniversary of the Great Hanshin Earthquake, he produced the charity taiko concert, "From Kobe: Thanks and Hopes, Facing to the Future", and also wrote the original requiem piece "Daichi" ("Earth"), a piece now played by taiko groups across Kansai area.
In 2010 he was an invited guest performer of Japan Chinese Orchestra (Nihon Kagakudan) on the mainstage of the World Expo in Shanghai.
In 2011, after 16 years of performance activity, he parted with his hometown group in Kobe in order to begin activities as an independent solo artist. The following year he both performed in and assisted as an organizer of Eitetsu Hayashi's 40th anniversary concert tour, which occurred to much acclaim.
In addition to his standalone solo concerts and live shows, Kimura holds a fascination with uniting the art of Japanese taiko with music from across the world. Under the theme of “Music Without Borders/One World”, he began with joint performances with Chinese guzheng (koto) artist Wu Fan, and then formed the Kansai-based "Kimura Yuichi & Special Sauce", a pioneering jazz/classical/latin/world genre-blending collaborative unit with two releases to date: "Sora Kakeru Tsubasa" (“Soaring Wings in the Sky”) (CD) and "Jonetsu Live" ("Fiery Passion") (DVD).
In addition to leading various taiko classes and workshops in the region as well as directing and song-writing for community groups, Kimura also engages in educational activities for the general public. He teaches anyone from pre-schoolers to the elderly, novice to advanced, to discover the joy in taiko.
For young taiko enthusiasts interested in more in-depth training, he has established the Wadaiko Unit “Daiichi no Kai”, which performs concerts and school shows in the area.
As a high-schooler, Kimura believed that the power of wadaiko could to give courage to the hearts of people in order to help them rise up from disaster and tragedy. Carrying their hopes and dreams, this belief has now brought him to his 20th year of performance activities. (2014)
Yuichi Kimura is a recipient of the 2010 Hyogo Prefecture Sakai Tokitada Music Award, the 2012 Kobe City Cultural Promotion Prize, and the 2013 Hyogo Prefectural Arts Promotion Prize.