Remaking the Sanshin

Peg-tsuki Sanshin from Sanshinya Tururunten

We’ve seen sanshin+guitar hybrids in the past (not to mention what we’re seeing done with kankara sanshin) with Rinken Teruya’s Cheren, BEGIN’s Ichigo-Ichie (Nirai, Kanai) and now here’s a “peg” sanshin from Sanshin-ya Tururunten (above images are via their blog). Anyone tried one of these yet or seen it played by the members of Okichin? It looks pretty neat but I wonder if it’s difficult to keep in tune?

Okinawan Pop and Japanese Chindon: happyfunsmile

While looking through our blog stats I found that there are a few of you who are finding us with the keywords “okinawan” + “music” or “pop”. So, I decided to google “okinawan pop” and happened upon a chindon band out of New York City called happyfunsmile:

happyfunsmile performs an eclectic mix of okinawan pop, electric folk songs (ultraminyo), supersweet ballads (enka), festival rhythms and obon beats. utilizing the sounds of the taiko drum, chindon, sanshin, accordion, bass, and keys, happyfunsmile extols the virtues of o-pop and chindon to an ever-growing congregation!

Click on the “presenter info” link to find out more about the band and they also have mp3s and a video (in QT!) available for download. Oh, if you’ve watched the video and thought that the “sanshin” looks different from the Okinawan one, he’s actually playing a “sanxian”.

[Updated 07.03.03: There’s a chindon group in Okinawa called Ryuukyuu Chimudon Gakudan that’s worth checking out if you’re interested in this genre.]