Speaking of Noborikawa Seijin

Here’s a 2012 video from Respect Record’s YouTube account (be sure to subscribe!) featuring Noroborikawa Seijin 登川盛仁 and Oshiro Misako 大城美佐子 — outtakes from their recording of the album Duet. You may also see Nakasone Hajime 仲宗根 創 pop in here and there in the video which is pretty cool.

Rory (アーサー) the Ryukyuan Villager in Animal Crossing

Rory (アーサー [aasaa] in the Japanese-language version) is a lion jock villager in the Animal Crossing video game fr0m Nintendo (above photos are from the New Horizons version of the game — he first appeared in the New Leaf version of the game) who is Ryukyuan. Playing the English-language version of the game doesn’t give you much aside from what can be seen visually (e.g. Rory looks like a shīsā and his home looks like it could be in Okinawa with the red-tile roof, mangrove wallpaper, shīsā, and tropical setting) and perhaps you may catch what sounds like kāchāshī playing from his house radio — more on this in a second.

On the other hand, the Japanese-language version all but spells it out for you starting with his name アーサー aasaa (a play on shiisaa although it’s translated as Arthur), his catchphrase is ナハッ (Naha! and in English it’s capital — as in Naha is the capital of Okinawa), his quote is なんくるないさ (nankurunaisa and in English it’s set ’em up and knock ’em down), and his favorite song (the one playing from his house radio) is ハイサイけけ (haisai keke and in English it’s called K.K. Faire) — more on this below.

K.K. Faire (ハイサイけけ)

Hearing this song (link to a sample of the song on YouTube) for the first time and realizing what it was, I was like: “Wait, is that an Okinawan song?!” I had to quickly DuckDuckGo it to find out more and the first thing was that it was called “K.K. Faire” (like, what?) but looking at the album art and its Japanese title「ハイサイけけ」”Haisai Keke” confirmed that it was indeed an Okinawan song. I feel that the album’s cover art and the song style is a tribute to 登川誠仁 Noborikawa Seijin. Speaking of the album art, if you’re familiar with the 三線 sanshin, you’ll notice that it’s depicted with four karakui instead of the normal three (although four to five strings can be found on the くーちょー kuuchoo and there is a 6-string sanshin called a rokushin) and the bachi (plectrum) K.K. is holding is in the Japanese style. (Image via Nookipedia.)

The Search for Rory

So if you want Rory to live on your island right away (as opposed to hopefully having him at your campsite or going villager hunting), you’re in luck as he has an amiibo card (Series 4, #352). What’s probably luckier for us is that he’s not a popular villager (i.e. he doesn’t rate high on a tier list — yep, there’s a tier list) so his amiibo can be found on eBay for a couple of dollars (popular amiibo cards can be found for close to $100 USD!). If you’re able to have him live on your island, make sure to have K.K. Faire playing on one of your outside music players as it’s super cute to see him singing along to it. (Image via Nintendo.)

Other Okinawa-related things to note for Animal Crossing. A bingata 紅型 dress can be purchased at Able Sisters and the paper kite butterfly オオゴマダラ (can be found all year on both hemispheres) is the official butterfly of Okinawa. If you’re lucky, you may find K.K. Faire for sale at Nook Shopping or better yet, you can get a free copy from K.K. himself by requesting the song. Leave a comment if you’ve found anything else related to Okinawa and be sure to leave your island’s dream address and I’ll definitely pay a visit!

iTunes: Seijin Noborikawa’s “Noborikawa Seijin Live! ~Just One Night at CAY 2010.8.29~”

Livejustonenight

It’s only available as a partial album, and you can’t buy it in its entirety (meaning you’ll have to buy track by track — yes, silly indeed) but if you were holding out on the latest offering from Respect Record for Seijin Noborikawa, it’s now out on iTunes (link opens iTunes).

So, what’s missing? Disc 1 tracks #16 (“Yatchaagwa/Kaisaree”) and #18 (“Tubaraama/Seigwa no Rokushou Bushi”) and Disc 2 tracks #2 (“Chindara Bushi”/”Manganisutcha”), #8 (“Naakunii”/”Hantabaru”), and #16 (“Yunta Medley”). Yeah, you may be better off buying the CD. So who can we complain to about this? Respect Record?!

Toru Yonaha on YouTube

I’m loving this so much that I want to share this short video of the song “Urazagwaa” featuring Toru Yonaha and Mayumi Yamakawa. Clip is from tadaitsu’s YouTube channel shot at this year’s Koza Terurin Matsuri.

If you can handle the shaky camera work, the next video features Misako Koja and Toru Yonaha singing Koja’s “Warabigami” shot at last year’s Shinjuku Eisa Matsuri. At least the sound quality is pretty decent.

And finally, Toru jamming his “Chatan Meekata” with backup by singer Mika Uchizato.

More videos on YouTube with Toru Yonaha can be found here.

Sadao China has a big 2009

2009 has turned out to be a big year for the utasaa great, Sadao China. Perhaps the biggest was the King Records limited edition 6-CD box set “Shimauta Hyakkei” released back in October. (The box set can be purchased at our favorite online retailer, CDJapan.) Yeah, a CD box set release may not be the most exciting of news to some, but throw in a Japan Record Award and we’ve definitely got something here.

(Via F★blog.)

But that’s not all folks! Beginning this month (and into January 2010), Sadao China will be featured in an NHK series introducing the sanshin to beginners of the instrument. Titled “Mensoore! Hajimete no Sanshin,” the show also has its own textbook to follow along with Sadao’s lessons. I’m hoping NHK will release a DVD when the series is over and we’ll post it here if we hear news of it.

(Via 沖縄三線.com.)

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