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 …

Veteran Amami utasha Ikue Asazaki

We often focus on the new singers from Amami-Oshima like Rikki Nakano, Chitose Hajime, Kosuke Atari, and Minami Kizuki, leaving out the traditional singers. So, better late than never, no? Ikue Asazaki is a veteran utasha (now in her 70s) who has been singing Amami shimauta since picking it up from her father and regarded …

Quick review of Namie Amuro’s “60s 70s 80s” single

Continuing onto 2008 with a very successful 2007, Namie Amuro’s new Triple A-Side single (to be released on 3/12/08), “60s 70s 80s,” is simply amazing so far. The first song, “New Look,” (PV below) samples The Supremes’ hit song from 1964 “Baby Love” to great effect. Hearing the original on the radio yesterday, I found …

DVD: Misako Oshiro’s ‘Uta Kataree’

Utasaa great Misako Oshiro is making 2007 a year to remember. She started off the year with her first full-album in 10 years, “Uta Umui” (UBCA-1008, Tuff Beats), and held her 50th anniversary (in Okinawa’s performing arts) recital last month (7/8/07) at the Naha Shimin Kaikan. She’ll be performing around Japan from August to October …

Hawaiian meets Okinawan: Churamana

If you’re a fan of Hawaiian and Okinawan music you may be interested in the duo Churamana (チュラマナ, roughly translated as “Beautiful [chura, Okinawan] Energy [mana, Hawaiian]”) with Tokyo-born Maki Uehara on vocals/hula and Ishigakijima-born Makiko Miyara (formerly of the O-pop group Donann) on vocals. If you’re familiar with the group TINGARA (Okinawan healing music) …

Highly Recommended: Sanshin’s Matsuda (e-34ya.com)

I mentioned in my “In The Works…” post that I was in the final stages of procuring a few CDs direct from Okinawa and today, I received my shipment. 😀 The best (or only) way to get your hands on Okinawan music is on the web and although there are very, very good online stores …

Metropolis Tokyo’s JAPAN BEAT

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 …

Champuru.net Book Review: Snakeskin Shamisen

Snakeskin Shamisen by Naomi Hirahara The familiarity of situations, foods, phrases, and of course, the Okinawan culture appeal to me, making this a fun, quick read. Read the rest of Donna’s review over here. According to the author’s website, Snakeskin Shamisen (which is the third book in her Mas Arai series) has been nominated for …