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10-Year-Old World Whistling Champ In Concert

FNN and Asahi.com (J) are running stories on a world-champion child whistler from the Kansai area who recently gave a concert.

For 10-year-old Chihaya Kosugiyama, whistling is an art. Inspired, she told FNN, by her grandfather at the age of two (asking “How do you talk like that?”), she stuck with it even after stopping for a while after classmates told her it was uncouth or would attract snakes. (In Japan, common superstition holds that whistling after dark will attract thieves, snakes, or other unwanted attention.) She got so good at it that this April she traveled all the way to the US to attend the 34th International Whistlers Convention (E) in South Carolina and compete against some of the best young whistlers in the world.

Chihaya ended up taking first place in the Children’s Competition, so she can now boast of being the best young whistler in the world. She certainly has confidence and poise far beyond her years, demonstrated in a recent concert whistling along with Strauss’ Tritch Tratch Polka (it appears toward the end of FNN’s video report). She told the cameras afterward that she was more excited than nervous, and that she wouldn’t mind doing another hundred concerts.

In addition to professional whistling, she’s also studying how to play the piano and flute, and has recently gotten interested in the ukulele. Apart from music, she’s also studying ballet, and in fact came up with some ballet-esque moves to accompany her whistling during the concert. According to Asahi, she hopes one day to become a veterinarian who can whistle and dance, as well as an author.

Although without subtitles, here’s the video. Whistling is, apparently, an international language.

And, in fact, Chihaya wasn’t the only Japanese winner; Japanese whistlers also took first place in the teen and female adult categories. Here’s a YouTube clip of the teen champion (also without subtitles, but with plenty of impressive whistling).