Looking for something good to read on your new iPad? Check out the links below and be sure to subscribe to them too.
The Okinawaology Blog, by Thomas Corrao of the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai, features “life adventures and stories of an Okinawa otaku.” Be sure to check it out and add it to your news reader. Tom also has a YouTube channel with his uploads of the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai’s sanshin practice sessions among other cool stuff.
Rinken Teruya (leader of the O-pop band Rinken Band) has been one of the most tech-savvy of his peers—as evidenced by the rinken.gr.jp website which has been around for several years as well as his willingness to release his music digitally. Although he’s had numerous projects in the past (like Tink Tink, Mihanagumi, Tomoko Uehara’s solo works, among others), he released his first solo instrumental album last year titled “Pause” and this year released the follow-up album, “Pause 2” (link opens iTunes). Both albums are available in the US iTunes Store.
Unfortunately, many of his other projects (like Tink Tink’s music) are only available at the Japan iTunes store. While we’re on that subject (i.e. of what those of us who live outside of Japan can’t get), I’ll share two iMixes worth checking out. Please be aware that these links will open iTunes and log you off of the US store as it’ll open the Japan store. For an exhaustive look at artists with music available for sale at the US store, check out my special page: Listing of Artists on iTunes.
iMixes found at the Japan iTunes store:
- Ryukyu Utahime Shu – an iMix of female singers from Okinawa.
- Ryukyu Geinou Catalog – although I usually think of performing arts when I hear the word “geinou,” this iMix is just a collection of rock and pop artists from Okinawa.
- Shimauta – an interesting iMix of artists covering THE BOOM’s “Shimauta.”
And although I haven’t done any in awhile, here’s a link to my iMixes (link will open the US iTunes store).
Back to post1 These are customer-created mixes that include links to the artists’ album. Both of the iMixes consist mainly of songs that are currently available only at the Japan iTunes store. Hopefully, this gives us a look at what may one day reach the US store too—especially the Parsha cluB stuff FTW!
Simple Sanshin Source is “an English-based guide to the Okinawan sanshin” that features kunkunshi (sheet music), lyrics, and tips by Kenji, a self-taught sanshin enthusiast. Given that I haven’t been very good at updating Three Strings, Simple Sanshin Source looks to be the online place to learn about the sanshin. There’s also a YouTube channel with sanshin tutorials so check it out!
It’s always a nice thing to open my inbox to see an email to a sanshin-related website and such is the case for the San Jose Sanshin Kai. Their website has an English (they’ve kindly linked to Karakui.com here) and a Japanese version. So stop by their website and give them a warm welcome to our growing number of sanshin shinka on the Web.
Being a fan of annya_okinawa’s Flickr photostream, I was quite happy to see a post introducing her new photography website called Picture Okinawa. Filled with a growing number of beautiful images from Okinawa, you can easily spend an hour or two at the site. Photo blog, HDR Japan, is also worth checking out too.
Okay, the title would’ve been pretty good for an April Fool’s post (yeah, right) but who knows, it may actually become true. (Tune in Twilight Zone music here.)
Aya Ueto to star as lawyer in ‘Hokaben’
Really? No. Really? This makes Legally Blonde look like cinema verite by comparison.
Read the Tokyograph entry here.
(Via International Wota.)
Is anybody out there keeping tabs on the different characters Aya’s played in her young career? Student. Okay, that’s way too easy. Let’s see, I believe she’s played a girl from the 12th century (Yoshitsune), a tennis player (Ace o nerae!), a volleyball player (Attack No. 1), a singer/actress (Misora Hibari Tanjou Monogatari), a cabin attendant (Attention Please), a hotel worker (Hotelier), a stepmother (Abarenbo Mama), and now a lawyer (Hokaben). I probably missed a few so check out her impressive list of films/tv shows over at DramaWiki.
[Blogs] J-Pop CD Cover Art Shares Amuro Cover: “‘PLAY’ Front Covers + Promo
Recommended ogling. It would’ve been nice to have a scan of that back cover where Namie’s wearing that magnificently sexy eyepatch…” Link
(Via Feed of Pop.)
Vision Factory, which manages artists like J-hip-pop queen Namie Amuro, has a listing of blogs (Namie is unfortunately not on the list) up on their site. The great thing is that a few of these blogs contain video clips (so they’re closer to vlogs). Below are a few of my faves:
- hiro (ex-SPEED) – ‘Constanze e no Michi’ (in reference to her current role as Mozart’s wife in the musical “Mozart”)
- HITOE (ex-SPEED) – ‘HITOE-ryu Ikikata’
- Lina (MAX) – ‘MAX LINA Offical Blog’
- Manami Higa – ‘Kyou mo Hare ya ka’
- Rina Chinen – ‘Icharibachoo Day!!’
- Ryoko Kuninaka – ‘Dougatsuushin’ — only one post so far (dated 10/24/07) so let’s hope it picks up before the year is over
- Takako Uehara (ex-SPEED) – ‘Oriibupan’
I’ve been meaning to blog about this site for awhile (but you know how that goes) and better late than never, right? The Metropolis website has a handful of pretty good reviews/interviews with artists from Okinawa. Although there are a few small parts where they can be totally off (they misspell Toru Yonaha’s name twice — in two different articles — as “Yoneha” and “Inaha”) the articles are great reads for those of you who are interested in Okinawan music.
I did the legwork so all you have to do is click on any of the links below. I broke away from Karakui tradition (heh) and made it so that the links will open in a new window (or right-click on the link to open it in a new tab). 😀
- Sadao China
- Yoriko Gankeo with Chuei Yoshikawa
- Toru Yonaha
- Soul Flower Mononoke Summit
- Ryukyu Underground 1, 2