The blind, genius pianist Takeshi Kakehashi’s personal account of his life so far.

“Itsumo boku no naka wa hikari” [I’m always filled with light]

Written diligently in Braille over a period of 7 years, amid a demanding practice schedule, this is a work of unparalleled documentation of effort, with a pureness in sensitivity and soul.

The author has shown true courage, by surmounting all manner of trials with his sense of humor and persistence

AuthorFTakeshi Kakehashi
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten Publishing
On sale now
Format: Duodecimo, hardcover
Pages: 224 (with a 4 page frontispiece)
Price: ¥1,600

Author Biography: Takeshi Kakehashi

Born in 1977, Takeshi Kakehashi is a blind pianist. He came into the spotlight after winning second prize at the renowned Concours International Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud in 1998. With numerous appearances on Japanese non-fiction television programs such as those on NHK, as well as “Tetsuko no heya”, “Ningen gekijou” and “Jounetsu Tairiku”, his popularity has been steadily growing. He has released 6 CDs, including a Chopin compilation. His pianissimo matches that of any great master, and is said to vibrate with a sensitive soul. This fall sees the 10th anniversary since his professional debut. (Belongs to Kajimoto Concert Management Co., Ltd.)


Born into a family of musicians, Kakehashi lost his eyesight to retinoblastoma just a few months after his birth. However, he was harmonizing to his mother’s singing by the age of three, and by six, he was not only composing on the piano, but could accurately reproduce musical recordings after just one hearing. Thus he showed an extraordinary aptitude towards music, and despite his handicap, he worked with his mother to attend a regular elementary school (even going as far as to take part in a public campaign in order to do so). Despite the language barrier, he decided to go to Vienna to attend junior high school, and despite a relapse in his cancer at the age of 12, he went on to win numerous competitions, and become a first-class pianist to perform with Seiji Ozawa, as well as hold a concert in Carnegie Hall. All these stories, and more, are told with both courage and humor by Kakehashi himself, who wrote this autobiography in Braille.


What does it mean for a human being to live? It is not a pursuit of tranquility through music, nor simply a quest to gain prestige. What does true courage entail? It most certainly is not a momentary thing.
The story of Takeshi, a youth whose persistent quest for sound enables him to overcome all adversity – as well as his mother, volunteers, teachers and friends who support him. The refreshing message of this book will make you want to re-examine your values. A book which offers both courage and energy to the reader.

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