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Tsugaru sounds
October 19, 2012 4:45 AM   Subscribe

You might find this an agreeable way to spend six minutes and twelve seconds: a two part introduction to the traditional music of Tsugaru, Aomori prefecture, in the far north of the main Japanese island of Honshu. The first piece is a starkly beautiful song, just voice and flute, and the second a solo piece performed on the shamisen, by the late Takahashi Chikuzan, a master of the Tsugaru style. And here you can see Chikuzan in action, rocking the three strings.
posted by flapjax at midnite (12 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Lovely post, thanks for this.

That Chikuzan clip is astounding.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:40 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is fantastic! Great post as always.
posted by winna at 6:24 AM on October 19, 2012


Great instrument, and it fits in with modern music pretty well too. There's lots of examples, but this one is my favorite. (warning: video contains topless cartoon mermaids).

Apparently they traditionally cover the body with cat skin, though now of course you can get them with plastic instead. Still: :(
posted by aubilenon at 7:07 AM on October 19, 2012


Great clips. I can't escape the feeling that my life is missing a Chikuzan mash up though. Bo Diddley. Or Jimi Hendrix. Someone.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:20 AM on October 19, 2012


Arpeggio-gato.
posted by humboldt32 at 7:42 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Domo arigato, jax. Brilliant call, as usual.
posted by rdone at 8:03 AM on October 19, 2012


Arigato. That was quite cool!
posted by unwordy at 8:23 AM on October 19, 2012


Great post; I love Japanese music, but have a hard time learning about it and researching it compared to most of my other musical obsessions.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:47 AM on October 19, 2012


I must drop a link to Shamisen Boogie Woogie by Ichimaru.
posted by in278s at 12:02 PM on October 19, 2012


Bookmarking this. Have been curious about Tsugaru since the Dance Dance Revolution song by that name. yes i am a dork
posted by gusandrews at 12:14 PM on October 19, 2012


gusandrews: the picture for that song with the samurais with Shamisens instead of swords has the wrong number of tuning pegs. :( Still a fun song, though! Orion.78 also features the shamisen.
posted by aubilenon at 4:18 PM on October 19, 2012


I must drop a link

fits in with modern music pretty well

my life is missing a Chikuzan mash up though. Bo Diddley. Or Jimi Hendrix


facepalm.jpg

Some people watch the Chikuzan video and think biwa houshi, others think Bo Diddley.

I remember when I lived in Hakodate in a geshuku, I would sit in the dining room studying while obaasan worked in the kitchen, playing the radio, listening to music like this. My life is missing a radio station with this music on it.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:13 PM on October 19, 2012


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