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The judge system was introduced only for the finals this year.
In addition to Mr. Ohkubo, general supervisor, and Mr. Nakamura, advisor, we welcome
Mr. Naoki Ishikawa as a member of the judging panel.

Special Judge
Naoki Ishik

 Began studying percussion at the age of 15 in the United States.

In 1995, he joined "The Cavaliers", an American drum corps . He was selected to be a member of the snare line, which is considered the core section of the top-class drum line in the drum corps world.

(He was the first Japanese drummer (along with Yuji Nakamura) to be selected as a member of the snare line.

Participated in the DCI ("Drumcorps International") World Championships, winning the World Champions title and the Best Percussion Award at the same time. The following year, in 1996, he continued his activities with The Cavaliers, winning the snare drum solo division of the same competition, becoming the first Japanese to win the individual championship in his first appearance.

In 1997, "The Blue Devils," which he transferred to, won first place at the DCI and again won the Best Percussion Award.

In 1998, he began teaching in both the U.S. and Japan.

While in college, he won three out of the five times he competed in the Marching Snare Drum Solo World Championships.

He won three first prizes and two second prizes out of five solo competitions he participated in.

In 2000, he graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He was invited by the percussion director of "blast" an entertainment stage company, to join the company, and became the only Japanese member of the company to tour in the U.S. "blast" has toured extensively outside of the U.S., including Switzerland and the United States.

In addition to the U.S., "blast" has also performed in Switzerland, England, and other European countries.

In the U.S., "blast" received many prestigious awards. After that, he was selected as one of the soloists and was entrusted to teach drumming to the members, and continued to perform in various places in the US until June 2002.

From 2003 to 2019, "blast" toured Japan a total of 10 times, conquering all 47 prefectures in Japan a total of 3 times.


In addition, he has been performing in the stage "Endless SHOCK" starring Koichi Domoto for 19 seasons from 2005 to 2023, composing and directing parts of the show and appearing as one of the main cast members.

He has taught and composed for Sho Sakurai, Hideaki Takizawa, Tadayoshi Okura, King & Prince, SixTones, Snow Man, and many others.


 He started his career as an instructor at the age of 18, and has published instructional books and DVDs in Japan, as well as continuing to give lessons and seminars in Japan and abroad. So far in Japan, he has been a member of

He has instructed numerous groups, including the Soka Renaissance Vanguard, Aimachi Marchingband, Tenrikyoko Gakuen High School Marching Band, and Seika Girls Brass Band.

He has also performed with the American brass quintet "Boston Brass," the French brass band "Paris Garde Republiquaine," and the "Siena Wind Orchestra" under the baton of Yutaka Sado. The Siena Wind Orchestra, conducted by Yutaka Sado, and many other artists.

He is one of Japan's leading experts in rudimental drumming, specializing in rhythmic manipulation, rhythm processing, and rhythm building.

His activities range from the academic world to the underground, and are not bound by genre boundaries, making full use of performance, teaching, composing, arranging, structuring, and planning.

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