Matsuda Kazutoshi no Teegee Rajio

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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.)

Off the Wall to feature live Okinawan music!!!


Off the Wall
Originally uploaded by Champuru

Watch, enjoy and listen to live Okinawan music every 1st and 3rd Wednesday night of the month at Off the Wall (Aiea, Hawaii).

(From their email newsletter—nifee deebitan to Sandaa-sensei for the tip!):

Join us this coming Wednesday, September 17, at OFF THE WALL BAR for LIVE OKINAWAN MUSIC by Afuso-Ryu Gensei Kai Hawaii (featuring Grant “Sandaa” Murata-sensei, Kenton Odo-sensei & members of the club).

Music starts at 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

For this special event we have drink specials of $7 – Orion Okinawan Beer (21 oz); purchase a bottle of Awamori and we will hold it for you—featuring Shimauta Awamori or Iichiko Kurobin Shochu Bottles for only $40.00 (at a special price only for this day).

Enjoy Okinawan food dishes such as Rafute, Goya (bittermelon) Champuru, Tofu Champuru, Eggplant Pork Miso Champuru and more!

Seating is limited!!!

For More Information conctact us @ Ph: 808.486.WALL (808.486.9255).
Located @ the Pearl Kai Shopping Center, across from Pearlridge Sears
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy, B-10
Aiea, Hawaii 96701

The food and atmosphere there is excellent (okay, to be fair, I’ve only been there once—check out Donna’s pics of their delicious food—but more reason to go back, yeah?). I’m so there! Tobiiri anyone? (And Sandaa-sensei, I’m coming for one of those bottles of Shimauta Awamori. 😉 )

Akane Murayoshi releases debut album!

A song that I completely fell in love with in 2006 also happened to be the Miuta Taishou Grand Prix winner of that same year: “Miyarabi nu Hana.” The song—sung by upcoming utasaa Akane Murayoshi of Kumejima Town—also performed at the Okinawan Festival in Hawaii in 2006. The album, unsurprisingly titled “Miyarabi nu Hana,” was released yesterday (9/13) and contains a total of 14 tracks and will retail for ¥2,100. The CD is produced by Yoshimi Aragaki who also penned the title track and the album comes with two versions of the song: an album version and a sanshin version.

(Via Okinawan Music Net.)

And the awesome new releases for 2008 keep coming!

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Geez, I’m really going to go broke this year what with all these great CD releases in the 2nd half of 2008 and with my mom’s and big bro’s birthdays this month, Xmas and that shiny new iPod nano. But I digress.

Coming on 10/10/08, an artist whom I really, really admire, Suekichi Matsuda, will be releasing his first (!) album titled “Uta Unji.” This is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met (and pretty much every utasaa you’ll meet is nice) and he’s a veteran of the Okinawan minyou scene having played with Sadao China, Nenes, The Fere and Misako Oshiro. “Uta Unji” will have a total of 13 tracks and is priced at ¥3,000.

(Via Campus Record Staff Blog.)

New Kazumi Tamaki CD to be released on 9/25/08!

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Have you heard of the Okinawan word churakaagii? Well, the very handy Okinawan-English Wordbook (Amazon.com link) defines the word as “a beauty; a belle; a pretty girl; a good-looking woman.” All of these describe utasaa Kazumi Tamaki and to top it off, she’s super nice in person too.

Anyway, before I go on about Kazumi, she has a new album out this month (9/25/08) called “Haru ya Kariyushi” on BCY Nnarufon. The 15-track album features her singing partner, utasaa great Koichi Kamiya, and was also produced by the pair.

Kazumi’s last (and I think only) solo album, “Tin’in,” was released 11 years ago in 1997 so to say that “Haru ya Kariyushi” was a long time in the making is an understatement. The album includes a couple of her previous hit songs (“Haru ya Haru” and “Heiwa no Negai”) and is priced at ¥2,800.

(Via Campus Record Staff blog.)

Toru Yonaha getting back to his Roots

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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.)

Found while browsing the iTunes Store

While browsing the iTunes Store (waiting patiently for Hikaru Utada’s [a J-pop artist with no ties that I know of to Okinawan pop culture but thought I’d share this information with you anyway 😛 ] latest album to pop-up there) I stumbled on two indies artists — one an utasaa, the other an O-pop duo — who have albums at the store.

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The first is “Usukaji nu Shima” (iTunes Store link) from utasaa (Okinawan folk singer) Shinobu Maki. The following is from an iTunes Store customer reviewer, Taketomi Otaku:

Shinobu Maki is one of young artists inheriting traditional music of Yaeyama Islands located in southwest of Okinawa, Japan.

He lives in Taketomi Island floating in the beautiful sea of cobalt color. In this album, “Yonaguni Shongane” recorded on the beach of Taketomi Island is the best choice, and you must be able to feel the refreshing wind and beautiful cobalt sea of Taketomi Island.

In addition, Shinobu Maki can play Sanshin by wonderful technique which is local traditional stringed instrument.

For US $7.92, you’ll get 8 tracks (the original album comes with a total of 10 tracks — missing is “Hiyamikachi Bushi” and a cover of BEGIN’s “Yugafu Shima”) of lovely shimauta performed by Shinobu.

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The second is “Ribbon of the Hearts” (iTunes Store link) from O-pop duo Kochi (東風). Having started Kochi in 1998, Shuri-born Takane Kochihira (vocal/guitar) and Belgium-born Yasuko Takahashi (vocal/sanshin), released their first single called “Umui Uta” in 2004. “Ribbon of the Hearts” is priced at US $6.93 and comes with all 7 tracks like the CD copy.

It’s interesting to see these artists added to the iTunes Store where otherwise they’d have little exposure to those outside of Okinawa and Japan. Be sure to check out my Listing of Artists on iTunes Page for more stuff to add to your Okinawan music collection.

Tatsuya Shimabukuro’s debut album ‘Tunugi’ hits stores on March 12!

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Perhaps the most anticipated CD debut (for Okinawan minyou) of the year is Tatsuya Shimabukuro’s “Tunugi” which is set to be released on March 12. Tatsuya’s “Tunugi” will contain 12 tracks including two that he composed the music for. The reasonably priced ¥2,500 album, from Campus Records’ Tundami label, will also feature the talents of Mika Uchizato, Kazutoshi Matsuda among others. This kid is a shredder on the sanshin and there looks to be quite a few tracks that’ll showcase his talented fretwork.

(Via the Campus Record Staff Blog.)

Lyrics: Misako Koja’s ‘Warabigami’

Warabigami
Lyrics by Misako Koja / Music & Arrangement by Kazuya Sahara
from the album “Ama Kakeru Hashi (Bridges Over Heaven)” (DM-002)

tiN kara nu migumi, ukiti ku nu shige ni
Nmari taru nashigwa, wami nu mui sudati

irayoo hei, irayoo hoi
irayoo kanashi umi nashigwa

nakuna yooya heiyoo heiyoo
tida nu hikari ukiti
yuuiri yooya heiyoo heiyoo
masasa ati tabori

nachi nu shichi kuriba, shida kaji yu ukuti
fuyu nu shichi kuriba, fuchukuru ni dashoti

irayoo hei, irayoo hoi
irayoo kanashi umi nashigwa

nakuna yooya heiyoo heiyoo
tsuki nu hikari ukiti
yuuiri yooya heiyoo heiyoo
ufutchu nati tabori

ami kaji nu fuchiN, wataru ku nu uchiwa
kajika takana toti, nashigwa hana sakasa

irayoo hei, irayoo hoi
irayoo kanashi umi nashigwa

nakuna yooya heiyoo heiyoo
tiN nu hikari ukiti
yuuiri yooya heiyoo heiyoo
takatchu nati tabori

English Translation (via CD booklet)
A blessing from heaven
Into this world
You are born, my baby,
I will take care of you
Irayo hei, irayo hoi, irayo
My dearest child
Don’t you cry, heiyo heiyo,
May the sun shine on you
Be a good boy, heiyo heiyo
Please grow up
In miraculous health

When summer comes,
I will send you a cool breeze
When winter comes,
I will hold you to my bosom
Irayo hei, irayo hoi, irayo
My dearest child
Don’t you cry, heiyo heiyo,
May the moon shine on you
Be a good girl, heiyo heiyo,
Please grow up
To adulthood

Though stormy winds may blow
As you go through this world
I will shelter you from the storm,
so you may bloom like a flower
Irayo hei, irayo hoi, irayo,
My dearest child,
Don’t you cry, heiyo heiyo,
May the heavens shine on you
Be a good human beings(1),
heiyo, heiyo,
To lead a worthy life

(1) This line can possibly be changed to: ‘Be good human beings’ or ‘Be a good human being.’ -Richie

Background:
Most may have first heard a version of this song from popular J/O-pop artist Rimi Natsukawa who sings it in Japanese. This, the original, was written and performed by Misako Koja (from the first generation Nenes) who penned it before the birth of her first grandchild in February of 1997.

Web: Uta Sanshin Circle

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Found a link to this wonderful website (kept by a fellow Mac user too 😀 ) in my referral log and I thought I’d share it with everyone. The Uta Sanshin Circle is a resource for those who live in (or are visiting) the mainland USA with information on classical and minyou classes. It looks like they’ll have their first meeting on February 10th so check out their website for more info: Uta Sanshin Circle.