At a sunset performance on at beach in Ishikawa Prefecture, western Japan, the 66-year-old Yamashita, wearing a firefighter’s uniform, recently played an improvised jazz piece before about 500 spectators seated in a wide semicircle around him.
No sooner had he begun playing, the piano burst into performance for a full ten minutes before all the strings were burnt out or snapped and the piano went quiet.
“I did not think I was risking my life but I was almost suffocating from the smoke that was continuously getting into my eyes and nose.
“I had decided to keep on playing until the piano stopped making sounds, so though I did not mean it but it ended up having a life-or-death battle between the piano and myself,” said Mr Yamashita.
This extraordinary piano performance was not the first experience for him.
He did it 35 years ago when he was a fledgling pianist but then it was not his idea, it was for a film by a Japanese graphic designer named Kiyoshi Awazu.