Buying sanshin in the U.S. has become that much easier

What an exciting time we’re living in if you’re a fan of the sanshin. In the past, those of us outside of Okinawa who play the sanshin would have to either go there or be fortunate enough to know someone who lives or travels there for us to buy the instrument or its accessories (e.g. …

Sanshin + Ukulele = Sanlele and the Amazing Kouei Tsuha

Elisa over at oki yo! blogged about the sanlele about a week ago and I’ve been meaning to reblog about here at Karakui.com. The funny thing is that Norman-sensei and I was talking about Kouei Tsuha (son of minyou singer Koutoku Tsuha) several weeks ago and it was a nice coincidence that he was the …

App Review: Sanshin (三線) for iPhone and iPod touch

Following our introduction of two virtual sanshin iPhone/iPod touch apps on the 20th and our review of the iSanshin app from Pawana LLC earlier today, we continue with Sanshin (三線) from Crimson Technology. Crimson Technology’s Sanshin app is currently at version 1.1 and sells for U.S. $1.99. (iTunes Link) It’s nearest (or only at the …

App Review: iSanshin (i三線) for iPhone & iPod touch

We introduced two iPhone/iPod touch apps on December 20, 2009, and both developers were kind enough to provide us with a demo of their app. The first app we’re going to look at is called iSanshin (i三線) from Pawana LLC. iSanshin sells for U.S. $1.99 and is currently at version 1.1. (iTunes Link) Upon launching …

[Updated] Introducing two sanshin apps for your iPhone or iPod touch

We’re big Mac fans here and there’s always an iPhone within reach but we don’t always carry a sanshin with us. (Duh?) Well, anyhoo, if you own an iPhone or iPod touch you’re in luck with two apps to keep you entertained for those times when you’re without sanshin. Both apps are U.S. $1.99 and …

Mark this date: 2/14/09 Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii

One of my favorite artists of both Okinawan and Hawaiian music is Keith Nakaganeku (with his band Calabash) and I got a tip that he’ll be performing along with his friend Masaru Shimabukuro (BEGIN‘s guitarist) at this year’s Ukulele Picnic 2009 in Hawaii on Saturday, February 14, 2009. He’ll be singing “Nada Sou Sou” and …

iPhone app: Cosmovox

No, I’m not cross-posting things from my personal blog here, this really is related to Okinawan pop culture. 😛 That said, I think a picture tells a thousand words so check it out below. Yup, you’ve read it right. Just under “Hirajoshi” is “Okinawa (Ryukyu Onkai [scale])” so what the heck is Cosmovox? It’s a …

El Okinawa Goes YouTube and We Love It!

El Okinawa, known as being a great online (although they also have a brick-and-mortar store near Kokusai-dori) resource for purchasing Okinawan instruments has just started posting instructional clips up on YouTube about a month ago. Besides the how-to on attaching a guitar strap to your sanshin, they also have a clip on the correct way …

Remaking the Sanshin

We’ve seen sanshin+guitar hybrids in the past (not to mention what we’re seeing done with kankara sanshin) with Rinken Teruya’s Cheren, BEGIN’s Ichigo-Ichie (Nirai, Kanai) and now here’s a “peg” sanshin from Sanshin-ya Tururunten (above images are via their blog). Anyone tried one of these yet or seen it played by the members of Okichin? …