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.)

Continue reading “Sadao China has a big 2009”

King Records to release a 6-CD box set of Sadao China’s recordings

I heard about this upcoming release about a month or so ago but haven’t seen any big promotions of it—which is quite sad indeed. So we here at Karakui.com will do our part by promoting the King Records release of a 6-disc box set featuring music by utasaa (Okinawan folk singer) legend Sadao China. Titled “Hyakkei,” the limited release box set of 101 tracks will sell for ¥15,000 with each disc featuring a theme of: Celebration & Dance (Disc 1), Playful & Fun (Disc 2 & 3), Drama & Admiration (Disc 4), and Love (Disc 5 & 6). “Hyakkei” will be released on October 7, 2009, and is available for pre-order at online retailers like (our favorite) cdjapan.co.jp. Click here for a full list of tracks in the box set.

Not interested in the box set? Well, there’s a release for you as well. Coming before the release of “Hyakkei” King Records will release a (single) disc of Sadao China’s recordings titled “Uta Damashii” on September 9, 2009. “Uta Damashii” will have a total of 15 tracks—13 of which are in “Hyakkei” and 2 bonus tracks which aren’t included in the box set—and is priced at ¥2,800. “Uta Damashii” is available for pre-order at cdjapan.co.jp.

Yasukatsu Oshima’s albums available on iTunes!

oshimayasukatsudotcom.png

I’ve long, long, been a fan of utasaa (minyou singer) Yasukatsu Oshima and although I already own most of the albums in his discography, having his music readily available for other future fans on iTunes is simply awesome. I have to give a lot of props to whoever is in charge of promoting the singer (Miki Nagata?) because in addition to having his albums on iTunes, Yasukatsu’s website has been wonderfully redone with information in English (with an RSS feed), a Twitter acccount, and gems like this translated bit from an interview found in Urma magazine.

If I had to recommend an album of his to start your collection with, I’d say pick-up “Island Journey” which is very easy to listen to and features guest musicians such as J-pop artist UA, pianist Ayano Kinjou of the J-pop duo Kiroro, and wunderkind utasaa Kanako Hatoma.

Unfortunately, missing from the albums available on iTunes as well as the discography listing on the website is his debut album “Nishi Kaji Hai Kaji,” released in 1993 from Polystar. The album featured the song “Irayoi Tsukiyahama” which was co-written with Eishou Higa of BEGIN (who covers the song on their first shimauta collection “Omototakeo 1”).

Among his contemporaries from Yaeyama, if I were to connect a genre to each I would say that Yukito Ara is rock, Eishou Higa (BEGIN) is pop, and Yasukatsu is soul. My wish from now is to see all of their music—especially Yukito’s as well as Parsha’s because they’re on an indie label—available digitally as well. It’s my hope that they’ll follow Yasukatsu’s lead in making their music readily available to the world through online stores like iTunes.

(BTW, the only album of his missing in my collection was his beautiful collaboration with Geoffrey Keezer which, thanks to it being available on iTunes, I now own. 😀 )

Link: Yasukatsu’s albums on iTunes (link opens iTunes)
Link: Official website (in English)

Long-awaited debut album from Sadahito China

sadahito_shimautahangaku.png

Gosh, I think this release is more than a decade in the making and I believe it’ll be well-worth the wait. Sadahito has for years, been one of the backup musicians for O-pop quartet Nenes, is also the second son of legendary utasaa Sadao China. So I’ve always thought it strange that it took so long to see a solo album release for him. In a way, I guess it shows that he’s ready to stand on his own as a musician as he’s definitely paid his dues despite having the strong influence of his father always looming in the background. But, I digress.

The album, titled “Shimauta Hangaku,” will have a total of 13 tracks of minyou standards which will definitely be interesting to match-up with his father’s songs. “Shimauta Hangaku” (DCA-0008) goes on sale on May 31, 2009, and is priced at a reasonable ¥2,000. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to track it at online stores like cdjapan.co.jp at this time but believe that it’ll be available at tower.jp and at Amazon.co.jp when it’s released. (I’m basing this on the fact that Kanako Hatoma’s albums, also from the DIG label, are currently on sale at both locations.)

(Via F★blog.)

Misako Oshiro & Toru Yonaha to release collaboration album!

Mark your calendars for this historic (well, IMHO) release: on June 24 veteran singer Misako Oshiro and popular singer-songwriter (and producer) Toru Yonaha will release a collaboration album titled “Futari Uta~Umui Keishou.” The 12-track (including a bonus track of a live performance at Misako’s Shima Umui) album is produced by Toru Yonaha and will be released on Misako’s current record label, Tuff Beats. The album is available for pre-order at cdjapan.co.jp: “Futari Uta~Umui Keishou”.

(Via Campus Record Staff Blog.)