Carl plays the shakuhachi, a Japanese end-blown flute with roots in the Zen Buddhist tradition.
His solo performances concentrate on honkyoku, the Zen Budddhist repertoire. He has studied the traditional and contemporary repertoire from leading players in Japan and Australia. He has been teaching and performing in Queensland for over twenty years. Carl has performed professionally interstate, in Japan and in India.
Carl has performed at the last two prestigious World Shakuhachi Festivals, in Sydney in 2008 and in Kyoto in 2012. He has also taught and performed at several Australian Shakuhachi Festivals, most recently at Redlands in 2015. He has also performed at many festivals, including Woodford, for BEMAC, at the Brisbane Powerhouse, the Japanese Consulate, among others. These performances are both solo and with other artists, particularly the Brisbane- based koto player, Takako Nishibori. Carl also organises and runs workshops for schools through the Japanese Cultural Centre.
He has made three recordings in India. The first was at the prestigious Madras Music Academy (equivalent of the Queensland Cultural Centre). There he recorded a CD called Revelation with leading Carnatic violinists and international musicians. It hit the Top 10 in the classical music loving state of Tamil Nadu. The second and third were recorded in the spiritually important city of Varanasi in northern India in early 2014. There, he and his music partner in IJIMP, Ravikesh Singh, along with three leading north Indian classical musicians recorded an album, Soul of Benares. At the same time, Carl took the opportunity to record in the same studio with the world class sound engineer, ”Pumpy”, and created the solo honkyoku album, Letter B.
The Sakura Dance Group is a non-profit organisation based on the Gold Coast, Australia established in September, 2008. Originality and innovation are hallmarks of the Sakura Dance Group. “Sakura” is the Japanese word for “Cherry Blossom”.
Our aim is to spread the awareness of Japanese culture and history through traditional Japanese dance. We hope to bring entertainment and happiness to our audiences.
Teacher, choreographer, art director and leader of the Sakura Dance Group, Junko Thomson has fused together a variety of traditional styles to create a unique and yet authentic Japanese cultural experience.
The Sakura Dance Group performs regularly at cultural events, schools, churches, aged-care centres and charity events.
Takako was born in Otsu, Japan. Takako began her study of the Koto at the age of six. She studied under Grand Master Shizu Fujino from Ikuta Ryu Miyagi school.
From an early age, Takako also began performing in public as one of the youngest performers of her koto school. At the age of 16, Takako expanded her musical studies to play the Shamisen. Like the koto, she performed the Shamisen for her Koto school.
In 2000, Takako received her teaching license from the Miyagi school of Tokyo. She passed both her Koto and Shamisen exams, coming in the top ten from all of Japan in her year.
Takako moved to Brisbane in 2005. Since then, she has been involved in a number of public and private performances, often with Carl Rathus, who accompanies her on the Shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute. As a duet, Takako and Carl recently performed in Queensland Police Pipes & Drums Benefit Concert for Japan Earthquake/Tsunami at the Old Museum Hall and Queensland Multicultural Festival.