He’s Toshio Hirano, originally from Japan. He teaches in San Mateo by day. But at night another dimension emerges, as he plays his guitar and sings in south of Market clubs — and what he most often sings are the songs of Jimmie Rodgers.
He became fascinated with Rogers as a college student. After graduation, he toured Appalachia. A few years later, he worked at a restaurant in Nashville, where he met some country stars. He has lived in San Francisco since 1986.