Mika no Uta
First album for 10 years from excellent female singer and sanshin player. Mostly traditional style with some piano and guitar on traditional tunes with a couple of new songs. 10 tracks, plus bonus track Abayoi.
First album from 'veteran' 65 year old Okinawan singer. Mostly traditional and well known shima uta songs featuring Kinjo's sanshin and vocals. Accompaniment provided by koto played by her sister Kumiko Agena, her own shimadaiko drums with some vocals by male singers Seishin Taba, Seibun Tokuhara and female singer Yoko Ishikawa. The title track is a re-recording of a song written for her by Matsuo Kawada which she first recorded in 1969 and became a hit single. 16 tracks.
Koi no Yoisura Bushi
Mini-album from Okinawan/Peruvian singer. Five songs including the title track which won a local prize. Traditional style with accompaniment by Nao (Taiko) and Shizuko Oshiro on sanshin.
1. Koi no Yoisura Bushi 2. Koi Ji Makura 3. 4. Yaeyama Sodachi 5. Tsuki nu Mapiroma Bushi 6. Koi no Yoisura Bushi (instrumental)
OKI meets MISAKO OSHIRO
Kita to Minami (North and South)
Fantastic new collaboration album by two giants of their own respective music and traditions. Oki is the best known and most respected Ainu musician from the northern island of Japan, Hokkaido. Misako Oshiro is a veteran female singer and sanshin player from the southernmost island of Okinawa. Together they have created something quite special, with help from Oshiro's student Kanako Horiuchi (also originally from Hokkaido, but not Ainu), Oki's Dub Ainu Band members Takashi Numazawa on drums and chorus vocals from Futoshi. Oki himself plays an array of instruments including tonkori, guitar, bass, synthesizer and percussion. Mix of traditional Okinawan tunes, original songs by Oki and even a cover of Red Ojisan from the first Shoukichi Kina and Champloose album from 1977.
1. Katami Bushi 2. Kui Katare 3. Kita to Minami 4. Nanyo Hamachidori 5. Yoo Kana Yoo 6. Red Ojisan 7. Rank Bushi 8. Hinsuu Juri Guwaa 9. Yacchaa Guwaa, Tomai Takahashi 10. Minami to Kita
Claudia Oshiro was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Okinawan immigrant parents. She moved to Tokyo in 2003, and toured with Kazufumi Miyuazawa and his band Ganga Zumba. This is her album of Okinawan minyo, performed in a traditional style. Includes the title track Kuishi Argentina, sung by Rinsho Kadekaru for Okinawan immigrants in Argentina.
First solo album for 10 years from the superb Misako Oshiro. Oshiro was born in Osaka in 1936, but grew up in Nago, Okinawa. She is sometimes called the 'female Rinsho Kadekaru' with whom she often recorded. She has a very distinctive voice and is considered a virtuoso sanshin player and possibly the greatest living Okinawan female musician. On this album she is accompanied by Sadao China (she is a former pupil of Sadao's father, Teihen) who sings, plays sanshin and ryukin (koto), Yoichi Nago on sanshin and vocals and by Masao Yagi on shima daiko drum. 14 tracks including Ayagu Bushi, Tinsagu nu Hana, Densuna Bushi, Imin Kouta, Nakuni- Yanbaru Timato and Wakare no Chimuri. Simple, traditional and beautiful and great to hear Oshiro is in fine form.
One of Okinawa's finest female vocalist, often called the female version of Rinsho Kadekaru. Sublime recordings from 1975 of the traditional music. Many of the songs are duets with Rinsho Kadekaru. Excellent.
Stunning recording of sublime vocals and sanshin from the 1990s. Classic and lesser known material. Click here to email for availability
Remastered and rereleased, first solo album by former Nenes leader. Produced by Sadao China, and featuring China's compositions and Okinawan standards.
Glowing solo album from Nenes member. Mainly traditional, features Sadao China.
Yambaru Nu Hana
Ex-Nenes singer releases second solo album, once again produced by Sadao China. She is joined by other ex-Nenes singers Namiko Miyazato and Yukino Hiyane, and her daughter Izumi on largely traditional and excellent album.
For some reason, while the mainland of Okinawa struggles to produce any young musicians to record traditional music, Amami island, not strictly a part of Okinawa at all, has a surfeit. Nami Makioka at 18, is the latest to record her first album and very good it is too. Perhaps nothing that sets her apart from her contemporaries, and probably without that extra something of Rikki, but nevertheless, this is still an amazingly self assured debut. Simple, traditional, sanshin and vocals.