An Evening of Japanese and Okinawan Music and Dance – Hawaii

From the flyer:

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa · College of Arts & Humanities · Music Department presents

An Evening of Japanese and Okinawan Music and Dance

Saturday, October 17, 2009
7:30 p.m., Orvis Auditorium
$12 general admission, $8 students & seniors @ the door

A recital featuring instructors from UH Manoa’s ethnomusicology and dance programs, including:

Rev. Masatoshi Shamoto (gagaku)
Onoe Kikunobu (Japanese dance)
Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone (Okinawan dance)
Robert Herr (shakuhachi)
Darin Miyashiro (koto)
Norman Kaneshiro (Okinawan sanshin)

The concert includes traditional gagaku and bugaku, dances choreographed to classic koto/shamisen music, Okinawan classic and folk numbers, and a contemporary koto/shakuhachi duet.

(Nifee deebitan to Char for the info!)

Introducing Three Strings: Everything Sanshin

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Today we’re announcing a new website called Three Strings: Everything Sanshin. We’re hoping it’ll do for sanshin, what Karakui.com has done for Okinawan pop culture: make information for that subject available to a larger audience. Please kindly add the website to your browser’s bookmarks or even better, add it to your newsreader. Nifee deebitan! Richie, Karakui.com.

3-4 Day Special: Kajadifuu Bushi

In celebration of Sanshin Day, March 4, I’m featuring a Ryūkyū Koten Ongaku (Ryūkyū classical music) song called “Kajadifū Bushi (かぎやで風節).” It has a bit of history for myself as the first song I learned on uta-sanshin from Katsumi Shinsato-sensei some fifteen years ago and I’ve been playing it ever since. Here’s a little background information on the song from Naganori Komine’s Okinawan Poetry: A Translation of Okinawan Poems from the KUN-KUN-SI (The Textbook of Okinawan song).

There are several different interpretations of the background of this song.

(1) There was a mute prince in the Ryūkyū kingdom. A high ranking clansmen named Ūaragusiku was grieved by this. One day, the prince found out that he was being considered to be the King’s successor. The prince demonstrated that he had just been pretending to be dumb in order to see what was going on among his followers. Watching the scene, the clansmen Ūaragusiku express his joy in this verse.

(2) A blacksmith, or KANJAYA named Okuma, helped Prince Shoen when there was a crisis. After that, when Shoen inherited the kingdom, Okuma became a clansmen. The blacksmith expressed his joy in this verse.

KIYU NU FUKURASHA YA
Today’s joyous occasion,

NAWUNI JANA TATIRU
To what can we compare it?

TSIBUDI WURU HANANU
It’s like a bud waiting to bloom,

TSIYU CHATA GUTU
Touched by the morning dew.

Sample of Kajadifu Bushi.

Tutorial: Tuning your sanshin, Part 1

When something gets requested here enough times, we’ll do our best to get it to you. So here it is, our first video tutorial on tuning your sanshin. Be sure to check out our “Tuning Your Sanshin” page for more info. I’ll also have it up for download — at a better quality than streaming it on the web — soon so keep an eye on this entry for an update.
Continue reading “Tutorial: Tuning your sanshin, Part 1”

Community: Congratulations to Kenton Odo, June Nakama and Calvin Nakama

There’s a nice story by Steve Murray on Midweek.com (‘SHAMISEN’) on the accomplishments of three musicians from Hawaii who are “the first foreigners to earn a master’s certificate in the Okinawan shamisen.” Definitely worth a read. All three musicians will be performing in Hawaii on Tuesday, November 27 as part of the 14th annual TOBE! Uta Sanshin 2007 concert. Read here for more info. Congratulations guys, we’re all very proud of you!

Links to Waste Your Time with: Videos Tagged with Sanshin on YouTube

If you’ve been following my posts today you’re already aware that I’ve been including accompanying clips found on YouTube. The amount of sanshin-related videos (amateur and professional) you’ll find on YouTube can keep you occupied for days so for those of you with enough free time on your hands to sit in front of your Mac/PC, here are two links to get you started with:

Be sure to let me know (by email karakuipress [at] gmail [dot] com or by leaving a comment on this post) if you find something interesting. Happy searching!