"Ten-Gallon" was the only bar where we could listen to bluegrass live in my city Fukuoka. It was located near the Itazuke American military base. Mr. Matsuoka, the owner of the bar, used to play as a professional banjo player. He was a member of a bluegrass band "Blue Paper", and his wife played mandolin in her own bluegrass band.
Unfortunately, it closed in 1991. At the same time, bluegrass music activity in the Dazaifu festival ceased. One of the reasons was the age of the players. The average age was 30 to 40, and they got married and had children. Simply, they didn't have the time.
We've had a longtime friendship with Mr. Hashimoto. We play old-time music together. Once he starts playing guitar, he never stops. He is not only our music friend but also our English teacher. When we met Bill Monroe, Redwood Canyon Ramblers, Peter Rowan, Alison Brown, and Matt Grasser, he was there for us as an interpreter and translator.