Chiaki (Syakari) posts pics of her sanshin

syakari_chiaki_34.jpg

Chiaki, singer of the pop group Syakari, recently posted a couple pics of her sanshin on their official blog: しゃかりデジカメ日記. Originally from the band Diamantes, Chatan-born Chiaki started Syakari along with guitarist Masaru Kadekaru and former Rinken Band drummer Kazunari Uechi in 1998.


Syakari’s “Kodou (コドウ)” from the 2005 album of the same title.


Syakari’s “Taiyou no Hito (太陽のひと)” from the 2007 album “Utayabira.”

Official website
Official blog

Matsuda Kazutoshi no Teegee Rajio

utashadotnet.png

Utasaa Kazutoshi “Kaazuu” Matsuda launched his own internet radio show, Matsuda Kazutoshi no Teegee Rajio, at the beginning of the month and now he’s added a much welcome m3u version (it launched with Real Player) for the last two shows (#3 and #4).

Although it’s all in Japanese, it’s worth listening to as he introduces new albums and performs live on the show too. (Previous shows can be found here. He also has links to the artists and albums mentioned on the shows on that page.)

(Via Three Strings.)

Ayano Uema’s official website is up!

uemayanodotcom.png

She announced it today on her blog and here it is: uemaayano.com! Filled with a lot of Ayano pics (some of them quite huge but it’s not like we’re complaining), her official website contains information on her schedule, profile, and links to her blog and original goods too. Once again, we see a reference to “Majun Record” and lo and behold, in Ayano’s profile page in plain Japanese is the sentence: second album planned for a 2008 release! Yay! We’ll be following her blog, this new website and our favorite Okinawan music blog in anticipation of finding out more about Ayano’s upcoming second album.

Introducing Three Strings: Everything Sanshin

3stringsdotnet.png

Today we’re announcing a new website called Three Strings: Everything Sanshin. We’re hoping it’ll do for sanshin, what Karakui.com has done for Okinawan pop culture: make information for that subject available to a larger audience. Please kindly add the website to your browser’s bookmarks or even better, add it to your newsreader. Nifee deebitan! Richie, Karakui.com.

Toru Yonaha getting back to his Roots

yonahatooru_roots.jpg

This upcoming release from Toru Yonaha is the perfect companion to his 2007 album “Utage ~party~” which was heavily influenced by J-pop. The 11 track album titled “Roots ~Ryukyu Iwaiuta~ (Best of Okinawan Traditional Songs)” will be released on 9/24/08 in Okinawa. Dude, I am so buying this. (Via 沖縄三線日和.)

OMG! Ayano Uema to release a new album?

AYNOsTOKIO.jpg

One of our favorite utasaa (唄者) here at Karakui.com, Ayano Uema, announced (well, it was more of a blurb) on her blog that she just completed shooting photos for a “new CD.” Now whether that means it’s a CD that she’s featured in or if it’s her own album remains to be seen but further evidence can be found in the image above (via her blog) on the lower left-hand corner that reads “Majun Record.” Ayano’s last album, “Negaiboshi,” (Nnarufon Record) was released in 2006 and featured a total of eight tracks (most penned by her).

Unfortunately, googling “majun record” (or in Japanese: まじゅんレコード) resulted in one big bad dead end. We’ll be blogging about this again once everything is confirmed.

Oh, she’s even designed her own t-shirt too. God, we love her.

Utage Restaurant & Lounge

One of the great things about running a blog is that you meet people (via comments, email and IRL too) from all-over the world. And, at times, old friends from right in my backyard. My friend Tadashi (who rocked a pretty mean guitar back in the day) has a restaurant called Utage Restaurant & Lounge that has Okinawan food and is located in the Dillingham area (yup, this is in Hawaii folks).

Check out their website for more info (time/days of operation, a Google map to get you there): Utage Restaurant & Lounge.

Introducing dancingfools.org

dancingfoolsdotorg.png

Well, the domain name pretty much sums up what this beautifully-created website (maintained by Donna from champuru.net) is about but here’s the lowdown from the site’s “About” page:

The Dancing Fools bon dance posse is a group of friends united by a love for the fellowship, food, and fun that bon dance season brings each summer.

And, yes! Bon dance season is going to start up soon so keep your eye on dancingfools.org.

Yu Yamada riding high

yuyamada_myusic.png

With confirmation of the relationship coming from the man himself, it’s official that Yu Yamada (23) and Shun Oguri (25) are a couple. Both recently starred in the J-drama “Binbo Danshi” and were in relationships that ended “around last summer.” As a result, Yu’s blog shot up to the top spot of Ameba’s ranking unseating talento (and fellow Uchinanchu) Yusuke Kamiji’s popular blog.

All of the attention definitely came at the right time with the May 14 release of Yu’s debut album, “MYUSIC.” Next up for Yu is the lead role in the film “Kanna-san, Daiseikou desu!” which is scheduled to be released in the fall of this year. The film is based on the manga by Yumiko Suzuki and follows the popular 2006 Korean film release called “200 Pounds Beauty” which, by the way, I highly recommend watching.