Asato Mina’s 2nd Single Shima nu Kokoro 4/18 Release!

Today is the release day of Asato Mina’s 2nd single Shima nu Kokoro. The song has an Uchinaa Pop feel to it and has modern day Okinawa as its backdrop. Currently available for sale on iTunes and coming soon to music streaming services (outside of Japan). Follow Mina’s accounts on her InstaBio.

Cocco’s YouTube Channel Hits 60,000 Subs

Cocco’s YouTube channel recently hit 60,000 subscribers and in typical Cocco fashion she released a fun video to commemorate it.

An interesting thing to note about her YouTube channel is that she directs her own music videos. So she’s basically writing her lyrics, writing her music, and directing her music videos! She’s so talented! If you watch the video closely you may catch a glimpse of her beautiful sanshin.

Subscribe to Cocco’s YouTube channel

Twitter User @kubocchi0617 Shares Rare Footage of Amuro Namie

In the short 2-minute clip Amuro and her best friend since preschool walk through Heiwa-dōri. Looks to be around the time she made her solo debut from Super Monkey’s (and before she hit it big) as hitomi’s CANDY GIRL (from 1995) is playing in the background (why not one of Amuro’s songs?!).

2021 Marks SPEED’s 25th Anniversary

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since SPEED made their debut. To commemorate this occasion the group released a special box set called SPEED MUSIC BOX -ALL THE MEMORIES- for ¥19,968 ($199 USD) containing several booklets, CDs, and Blu-rays — definitely a must-have item for diehard fans. Of the 4 members, 3 are quite active on social media and Hitoe remains the most private member of the group (links are to their Twitter accounts): Shimabukuro Hiroko, Imai Eriko and Uehara Takako. Link to the group’s official website with Avex. Congratulations!

Miyazawa Kazufumi on J-MELO

If you have the NHK World app (website link) be sure to catch the latest episode (1/10) of J-MELO (it’s on VOD until March 12, 2021) to see Miyazawa Kazufumi perform an acoustic (sanshin-only) version of Shimauta. It’s always interesting to see an artist’s rendition of a song they’ve played 100’s (probably 1000’s in this case) of times to see how its changed and this performance doesn’t disappoint. Don’t miss it!

Chuning Candy

Chuning Candy is a 5-member idol girl group that formed in 2013 from the CAT’S EYE talent school in Naha Okinawa. They follow history of idol groups from Okinawa that includes Super Monkey’s, MAX, Da Pump, Speed, D&D, and Folder 5.

The members of Chunican are Kotone (琴音), Sophie (ソフィー), Lili (LILI), Yuuri (ゆうり), and Aiko (愛子). The group made their major label debut in 2018 with the single “Dance With Me” and to date have released 6 singles (the one featured above from their YouTube channel is their cover of “Dynamic Ryukyu” (ダイナミック琉球). The have several videos for “Dynamic Ryukyu” and each have amassed more than 1 millions views so it can definitely be thought of as their breakout song.

Follow their official Twitter account link for their latest news.

Add them on Apple Music link

Ryu-Unit, New Jap Swing

I’ve been wondering what happened to the original members of DA PUMP after KEN left in 2009. I saw Shinobu’s Okinawan Pop group in Tokyo back in 2009, ISSA recently starred in the “Ryujin Mabuyer” film, and now I know what’s happened to the other two members. KEN and YUKINARI formed an all-Okinawan hip-hop trio (along with dancer/vocalist AI) called Ryu-Unit (流-UNIT) in 2010 and have released a handful of singles with one of them, “LIKE THAT”, available on the US iTunes Store (link). I’m hoping they’ll incorporate Okinawan music into their style of hip-hop (Oki-hop? LOL) but for now I’m just glad that they’re still performing. They have a YouTube channel so be sure to check out their videos and let me know what you think.

Tokyograph: Morning Musume’s Niigaki Risa cast in ninth “Twilight File” omnibus

An audition announcement has revealed that Morning Musume member Niigaki Risa (22) is set to appear in a movie tentatively titled ‘Bad Days Reason,’ part of the omnibus ‘Twilight File IX.’ Specific details about the film are not yet known, but shooting is scheduled to start in fall 2011, presumably for a 2012 release. […]

(Via Tokyograph.)

Although she was raised in Yokohama, Risa’s grandparents are from Okinawa and according to her Wikipedia page, she’s the “longest serving sub-leader of Morning Musume.” Go Risa!