Here’s something you don’t see on sale very often — especially online — is the Luchu hair accessory Jiifaa. Available in different sizes and material and sold by the long established Tsuha Ryukyu Store (where every dancer/musician has probably stopped by at least once), the product’s description says it can be used for dance as well as an everyday use or as a talisman. The web store (on Shopify’s platform FTW), has many other items that you won’t find online elsewhere and they should be able to ship worldwide (we can confirm shipping to Hawaii).
A smile. Whenever I pick up Lee Tonouchi’s Oriental Faddah and Son, I can’t help but smile. The book’s cover is nicely designed and at 152 pages, it should be a fast read (compared to the 925 pages in Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 which I’m also reading) but in reality, it’s not because I often find myself rereading passages like “Why I Hate Teachers Who Nevah Seen Star Wars,” the content of which is both funny and rather sad.
From the Bess Press website:
Oriental Faddah and Son delivers “Da Pidgin Guerrilla’s” most entertaining yet poignant work to date through a combination of lamenting and humorous poems. As you read, you will journey with author Lee A. Tonouchi through childhood and adolescence into adulthood. You will laugh out loud, sometimes cry, and maybe even discover things about yourself along the way. Award winning author Tonouchi delivers a captivating, semi-autobiographical tale through his mastery of the Pidgin language. Tonouchi intricately weaves life’s most basic human elements—love and loss, birth and death—with uncovering the identity of one’s true self. In the “Guerrilla’s” case, it’s the essence of being an Okinawan in Hawaiʻi.
Now is the perfect time to pick up your copy as the Bess Press website has a holiday sale for 40% off (till 12/30/2011) so grab it now!
I can file this in the “I should be in Japan/Okinawa now so that I can buy this” folder. UNIQLO, one of the coolest clothing companies in Japan (and the world?) has t-shirts in their UT Corporate Collaboration series featuring two awamori companies.
What an exciting time we’re living in if you’re a fan of the sanshin. In the past, those of us outside of Okinawa who play the sanshin would have to either go there or be fortunate enough to know someone who lives or travels there for us to buy the instrument or its accessories (e.g. strings, uma, karakui, etc.). Although there have been ways to order the instrument online (like eBay, Asoviva Sanshin), I’m very happy to announce that sanshin and sanshin accessories can now be ordered in Hawaii. In addition to being able to purchase a variety of new sanshin or its accessories, you can also have the skin from your sanshin’s chiiga (drum) replaced with a new one of your choice: real snakeskin, double-layer (a combination of a layer of real snakeskin over a layer of synthetic covering), or synthetic covering.
Jeremy over at AsovivaSanshin.com was nice enough to contact us to share links and of course, we said yes! We’ve actually blogged about their other website awhile back (there’s also a commenter to the post who had ordered from them) so it’s nice to hear that they’ve created an English-language website too.
I like it that their website contains information for their shop in Yomitan. It’s always great to order on the internet but there’s peace of mind knowing that they have an actual store too. They also accept all types of payment from PayPal to major credit cards for purchases and ship worldwide.
Visit them on the Web: ASOVIVA.
One way to get our attention is to send us a video of your playing a sanshin (check) and a very big plus is to play a song from an artist we’re big fans of here (check). So without further ado, here’s asoviva34 playing his sanshin arrangement of Jack Johnson’s “Flake.”
If you’re into finding out more about the sanshin, head on over to the Minami Sanshin-ten blog for photos of their order-made sanshin. You’ll find a lot of great photos featuring different styles of sanshin (Makabii, Chinin Deeku, Kuba nu Funi, Yunaa), videos and photos of sanshin in different stages of development. You can also follow them on Twitter @m34t.
We’re big fans of Apple Inc. here so of course, we love the iPhone. For USD $0.99, you can buy an app of beautiful photos of Okinawa shot by none other than Mr. O-pop himself, Rinken Teruya (founder of all things Rinken). The app, simply called “Okinawa,” features the song “Takouyama” sung by Tomoko Uehara, vocalist of Rinken Band and can be found here (iTunes link). Information about the app can be found here.
Yeah, I know. We just blogged about finding two Okinawan music collections on iTunes and here we are about an hour later and we have more links for you to click on. (Links will open iTunes.)
- Fumi “Sanshin de Kikitai Hikitai J-Pop Best 15“
- HSB (Hirosaki University Steelpan Band) “Steelpan de Kiku Okinawa Ongaku“
- Satoshi Kadekaru – a singer and talento from Urasoe City
- Masahiko Kawajo “485“
- Kazuhisa Negishi “Sanshin de Kikitai Hikitai Okinawa no Uta Best 16“
- Okinawa Jazz (Kyoukai) Association “Uchinaa Jazz“
- Masaaki Tamae “Beautiful Okinawa Melodies” – pianist known for composing “IKAWU” made popular by the Nēnēs
- Yutaka Sadoyama – a folk singer from Koza City
- Yamato Tokuhara “Shoki no Tokuhara Yamato” – an utasha from Amami Ōshima
The Fumi and Kazuhisa Negishi records are instrumental sanshin arrangements of popular J-pop and Okinawan folk songs (respectively) so both can be filed in the BGM genre though they also serve as learning aids for those learning the instrument.
As always, you can keep a watch on our “Listing of Artists on iTunes” page for links to our discoveries found at the store. BTW, if you’re wondering why we even bother mentioning our findings it’s because Okinawan music is all over the place at the iTunes store (as is J-pop music and perhaps any type of music that’s not in the mainstream). There’s really no one way to find the stuff so leave it to nerds like us to do the legwork for you. Once in a while, we’d appreciate a little ‘thank you’ tho. 😉