On the advice of his mentor and taking advantage of his last university break, Takumi Kodera, Tokiwadai, Hodogaya, Japan, flew to Winfield to enter the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship. Hiro Arita, his teacher and mentor, won the competition in the 1980s and encouraged Takumi to take part in this year’s competition. A civil engineering student at Yokohama National University, Takumi participated in the Fresh Grass Contest two years ago, and placed second at the Hakone Sunset Creek Bluegrass Festival. He said that he enjoyed the campground jam sessions, and hopes to be able to make it back to Winfield.
When he returns to Japan, Takumi takes with him the second-place trophy and a Deering Calico 5-String Banjo provided by Deering Banjo Company of Spring Valley, CA.