If you have the NHK World app (website link) be sure to catch the latest episode (1/10) of J-MELO (it’s on VOD until March 12, 2021) to see Miyazawa Kazufumi perform an acoustic (sanshin-only) version of Shimauta. It’s always interesting to see an artist’s rendition of a song they’ve played 100’s (probably 1000’s in this case) of times to see how its changed and this performance doesn’t disappoint. Don’t miss it!
The Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA link) has gone to YouTube to reach out to its community and to the rest of the world. Many of us were saddened that their annual Okinawan Festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic something that performers, volunteers, and visitors look to every Labor Day weekend. This year they went virtual with the festival and have continued on this path with an amazing number of videos (the one above — one of their latest — features the awesome Chinagu Eisa Hawaii group). Most of the videos are prerecorded but they also have a weekly stream called HUOA Yuntaku Live! Be sure to subscribe to their channel!
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.
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.”
You can file this in the “let’s hope more artist get in on this” category. Popular (and beautiful I might add) utasaa Ayano Uema shares a PV (well, kinda) of her rendition of the song “PW 無情” (the Prisoner of War song) on YouTube. Accompanying Ayano on piano is Yasushi Matsumoto of Taiyofu Orchestra.
Visit YouTube user tauezato‘s “Pops Sanshin Class” channel to view more videos like this (the song is BEGIN’s “Shimanchu nu Takara”). It’s a great way to learn songs since he shoots a closeup of his fingering on the sanshin. Couple this with Taruu’s Shimauta Majime na Kenkyuu blog for lyrics to Okinawan songs are you’re set!