Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi Shihan (Chikumeisha)
MA in Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi (Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku)
PhD in Japanology (Stockholm University)
Gunnar Jinmei Linder began studying shakuhachi in Japan in 1985 under the guidance of Yamaguchi Gorō (1933–99), leader of the guild Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi Chikumeisha and named a Living National Treasure in 1992. In 1993 he received a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT) to study shakuhachi at the Conservatory of Traditional Music at Tokyo National University of the Arts. He obtained a master’s degree as a soloist in 1997 and was awarded the traditional master title, shihan, and the name Jinmei from Yamaguchi Gorō the following year. In 2012, Linder earned his PhD in Japanese studies from Stockholm University with the dissertation Deconstructing Tradition in Japanese Music: A Study of Shakuhachi, Historical Authenticity and Transmission of Tradition, which focused on pre-modern performing arts, particularly music from the 17th to the 19th century.
Gunnar Jinmei Linder worked professionally as a performer and shakuhachi teacher in Japan for 20 years before returning to Sweden. He now performs and teaches throughout Europe, with regular performances and. He is also Associate Professor in Japanese language and culture at Stockholm University, where his research focuses on pre-modern performing arts, particularly music from the 17th to the 19th century. He is currently the deputy head of department at his home institution. In addition to his work at Stockholm University, Linder is also a part-time Associate Professor in shakuhachi at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm.
In 2016, Linder was awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation for his cultural and academic activities promoting Japanese culture. He has published an instructional DVD in collaboration with Bruce Huebner in 1999. He has also released two of his own CDs (WA – Dream Picture in 2000 and WA – Ginyū in 2001), as well as a book on how to play the fundamental solo pieces (honkyoku) within the Kinko-ryū school, Notes on Kinko-ryū Shakuhachi Honkyoku (2011), including three CDs. He is presently working on volume 2 (preliminary published by Stockholm University Press in 2024), collaborating with a colleague on a book project about song lyrics from Japanese art music from the 18th and 19th centuries (preliminary to be published by Routledge in 2023), and collaborating with another colleague on an academic anthology focused on shakuhachi (preliminary to be released from Routledge in 2024).