Dec 2, 2010

Hear the Southern Folk Singing in Akita

While Semboku City is known as a treasure trove for minyo, a type of traditional accompanied singing in northern Japan, the Amami Island is noted as a counterpart in the southern region of Japan.

Shima-uta is a type of folksong traditionally sang in the Amami Islands (奄美群島) in Kagoshima Prefecture. Two prominent shima-uta singers are coming to Semboku City for a performance. It is a rare chance for the people in the north to hear authentic shima-uta singing.

Amami no Shima-Uta

Where: Semboku Shimin Kaikan (Civic Hall)
When: Sunday, January 16th, 2011.
Tickets: 1,200 yen / 1,000 yen (Pre-Sale)

Tickets available at following stores:
Book-in 105
Yamazaki Daily Store in Kakunodate, Jindai, Tazawako
Semboku City Government Offices
Civic Hall

The headliners are two prominent shima-uta singers:

Born in 1934. Awarded as #1 minyo singer in 1979 and introduced shima-uta to the outside world. He has been invited to perform in France and USA at occasions organized by the Smithsonian institution, City of Seatle and so on. He has been a key figure in promoting shima-uta.

Born 1975. Her first stage performance was at age 4. The youngest person to be awarded Japan Minyo Grand Prize at age 15. Since her debut in 1993, she has been performing internationally in France and Romania and receiving a great review. In her most recent works, she has been credited on Image Album for Spirited Away (of Hayao Miyazaki) and most notably, for the main theme song for Final Fantasy X, “sutekidane”.

Other performers include:

Known for his credit on movie Last Emperor’s music tracks with Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Trained in classical music background. Recently known for a commercial song for Shiseido, “Anata no Kiss wa”

She is known for a participation in a percussion group, Aragehonzi, who presents a combination of music from Akita's minyo as well as Brazilian, African, and European pop. Performed at Fuji Rock 2010.

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