Friday, March 10, 2017

Who is Jessie Kitaguchi (北口ジェシー: currently going by the “artist” name Jessie Koumei (ジェシー逅盟)?? [Preliminary]

She is a suspected Swiss intelligence operative, one of contingency I’ve briefly mentioned but have not yet examined. 

I will examine one conspicuous family of intelligence operatives connected to Switzerland (the Durning’s (seem to recall reading that a man from Switzerland married a Japanese woman, but can't find the details. This article (, however, mentions that Heidi S. was 

"Born to Swiss and Japanese parents

In addition to the Swiss angle, Ms. Kitaguchi is one of a number of females being fraudulently introduced into genres of traditional cultural customarily cultivated by males, as I’ve partially detailed with respect to the Noh (dedicated post on the quasi-feminism angle forthcoming).

But now, back to the subject of this post...

I came to know of the woman calling herself “Jessie” when she approached me one day at the Kamogawa river while I was practicing the shakuhachi and the kids were playing. She was accompanied by a Japanese man I later learned is her husband. She paid me a complement, I believe, and said that she also played the shakuhachi, but from the Tozan school, and was interested in learning the music I was playing (Kinko school). I told her that I wasn’t teaching, because I didn’t have time, for starters, and if I had time, I would be performing more and learning to make shakuhachi. I told her that there was no one in Kyoto that taught the Kinko school style that I was playing, but that one of the guys that belongs to the circle I practice with teaches classes in the Osaka area. I told her that he had tried to go “pro” at one point, but had to go back to his day job as a public employee because he couldn’t drum up enough students, etc., to sustain his “pro” status. There are still some traces of her posts online using the name 北口ジェシー, including one in a performance with Yoshimura Koumei in 2015, before she was granted a teaching license in the Chikumeisha (top entry):

Surprisingly, she told me that she knew the guy I had just told her about, (Yoshimura Koumei), and that he had again become a “pro.” I didn’t quite know what to think about that, and as I wanted to practice, I politely wasn’t interested in continuing the conversation for much longer. 

It was subsequently revealed that she had become a student of Yoshimura’s when she showed up in Nara one day with him out of the blue to one of the practice recitals with string instrument players (koto and shamisen). I almost always arrive late to those sessions since having become insomniac and taking medication, but usually still manage to bring a little verve to the session, mistakes aside. Ms. Jessie complemented me that day for playing “strongly”, as I recall, as if she were surprised that I was a strong player. I tried to be humble and gracious, but was sort of dumbfounded by her incompetent and pretentious complement, as she seemed a bit crest-fallen, and I couldn’t help but wonder who the hell she thought she was, obviously delusional about her own ability. According to Yoshimura’s blog, incidentally, she started studying with him in July of 2014, less than three years ago:

At any rate, fast-forward three years from being approached at the river, and Yoshimura has awarded her a teaching license in the Chikumei-sha guild of the Kinko-ryu shakuhachi. That is shocking, but to some extent, it’s all about money, because it cost about $10,000 to receive the license, in addition to regular lesson fees, etc. Yoshimura showed up at a practice recital in Nara last weekend showing around a flyer for a concert he was putting on that was to also feature Ms. Jessie, and one other member of the circle was shocked, and voiced his surprise at how Ms. Jessie, whom he had also known from her time in the Tozan-ryu, could have been granted a teaching license in the Kinko school by the Chikumei-sha after a mere three years since she started studying it. I explained to him that she was a CIA-type intelligence operative from Switzerland, and ran down the story of how I met her and her husband. 

It appears, from information currently available online, that she had already started studying with Yoshimura when she approached me at the river, but it seems that must be the case. Perhaps she was trying to cultivate some sort of familiarization with me, because she was subsequently featured in an article in the local Kyoto daily newspaper (shown below as posted on her blog), etc., in another example of ludicrously promotional material in new media of individuals with absolutely no qualification to be covered whatsoever, like Lotman, for example. She posts a timeline of her profile here:

Born in Switzerland
Became interested in Japanese culture and started studying the martial arts
Came to Japan in 2004
First encountered the shakuhachi in 2009, started studying in the Tozan school under Kayawara Sozan (a non-existent teacher)
Passed intermediate test, receiving the name “Soryu”
Started studying under Koyama Seizan (an actual teacher)
Passed audition for ensemble piece study group in Kyoto
Passed test for teaching license in the Tozan school, received name Hozan
Started studying in the Chikumeisah guild of the Kino school under Yoshimura Koumei
Received second prize in Kinko school honkyoku contest in Kyoto
Participated in Nagatani contest (songs predetermined)
Granted teaching license in Kinko school
Participated in NHK international broadcast

The first Tozan school teacher she names (茅原琮山) doesn’t exist online outside of her posts, so I assume she learned from her husband. Moreover, the name she claims to have been given in the Tozan school was: ジェシー鳳純, which is extremely unusual, as Tozan school names always end with the syllable “zan” (maybe different because she is a woman?). Note that her name in the Chikumeisha ends with “mei,” like everyone else’s.

I was going to ask the Tozan teacher I studied with, 笹岡 貞山 (Sasaoka Teizan),

whom had been a Facebook friend until recently, but discovered that he has disappeared from Facebook (and no hits from Google). He retired and left Kyoto for Kyushu about 10 years ago, but was a prominent fixture in the Kyoto Tozan scene and knew everyone. Another of the individuals, named Shibata Michio (柴田道雄, aka 柴田玉堂 (竹号:

that has attended the recent lessons with Mizuno Koumei Sensei 
(a (former?) Director (理事) of the Chikumei-sha (竹盟社):, and former Dean of an Engineering University:

Shibata had also been a student of Sasaoka Teizan's before switching schools from Tozan to Kinko. 

The internet search for the name of the first Tozan teacher she provided did, however, turn up some self-promotional pages, including one with this video from 2010, however, which, low and behold, features her husband on the koto:
And the shakuhachi, as in the Hogaku Isshin:

The headline of the following article roughly translates, “Swiss woman attracted to traditional Japanese music.” It was published on December 9, 2015. A timeline of her posts from that period is here:

Her blog describes a group she and her husband had formed called “Hogaku Isshin”, which roughly translates as “Japanese music one heart” lists many performances of her on shakuhachi in ensemble pieces, but you will not find a single recording of her playing anywhere online, let alone on her blog. The closest thing is a few seconds of the Isshin “group” on YouTube (), which speaks for itself.

There is a description in English of the concept of the group, here:

I will have to update this post later, so the following are some random screenshots from her blog, etc.

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