iTunes: Seijin Noborikawa’s “Noborikawa Seijin Live! ~Just One Night at CAY 2010.8.29~”


It’s only available as a partial album, and you can’t buy it in its entirety (meaning you’ll have to buy track by track — yes, silly indeed) but if you were holding out on the latest offering from Respect Record for Seijin Noborikawa, it’s now out on iTunes (link opens iTunes).

So, what’s missing? Disc 1 tracks #16 (“Yatchaagwa/Kaisaree”) and #18 (“Tubaraama/Seigwa no Rokushou Bushi”) and Disc 2 tracks #2 (“Chindara Bushi”/”Manganisutcha”), #8 (“Naakunii”/”Hantabaru”), and #16 (“Yunta Medley”). Yeah, you may be better off buying the CD. So who can we complain to about this? Respect Record?!

Learn about awamori? There’s an app for that.

Modern technology is reaching every corner of the globe, and leaving no industry untouched, as now a local company has come up with an Awamori Large-Scale Dictionary for the smart phone iPhone.

The software application produced by Rakuen-Keikaku, a company that deals with the restaurant and publishing industries, works with the Apple iPhone, listing all 365 brands of awamori from the beverage’s 48 distilleries on Okinawa. The software lets customers sort for different awamori brands, taste, fragrance, percentage of alcohol, by distiller and by awamori name.


(Via Japan Update.)

Set for a mid-December release for ¥600. I’m hoping it’ll be released for the US too and if it is, we’ll have a review up as soon as we can get our hands on it.

iOS app: iOkinawa!


Billing itself as a combination of beautiful Okinawan girls and Okinawan dialect, out of curiosity I installed the free (with ads) iOkinawa! app (link opens iTunes US Store) on my iPhone 4. Developed by Sayobs (Ray Matayoshi) from Tokyo, it looks like it’s their first iOS app made for the iPhone. Released November 10, 2010, it’s currently at version 1.0 and the description on iTunes reads: “Tons of useful Okinawan dialect phrases with beautiful Okinawan girls.”

Continue reading “iOS app: iOkinawa!”

Fuzzy Control & DREAMS COME TRUE

One great thing to come out of Fuzzy Control‘s joining DCT records (DREAMS COME TRUE‘s indie record label) is the collaborative songs between the two bands and the latest is called “Sono Saki e,” featured in the 4th season of the J-drama “Kyumei Byoto 24 Ji.” Very catchy song and SATOKO rocks the drums!

Connection to Okinawa: Fuzzy Control’s vocalist/guitarist, JUON, was born in Okinawa.

“A.A.Aiyaiya,A.A!” is the band’s first single under the DCT records label and it—as well as its music video—are currently available on iTunes (link opens iTunes).

Beautiful photos of Okinawa on your iPhone? There’s an app for that.

We’re big fans of Apple Inc. here so of course, we love the iPhone. For USD $0.99, you can buy an app of beautiful photos of Okinawa shot by none other than Mr. O-pop himself, Rinken Teruya (founder of all things Rinken). The app, simply called “Okinawa,” features the song “Takouyama” sung by Tomoko Uehara, vocalist of Rinken Band and can be found here (iTunes link). Information about the app can be found here.

More iTunes links!

Yeah, I know. We just blogged about finding two Okinawan music collections on iTunes and here we are about an hour later and we have more links for you to click on. (Links will open iTunes.)

The Fumi and Kazuhisa Negishi records are instrumental sanshin arrangements of popular J-pop and Okinawan folk songs (respectively) so both can be filed in the BGM genre though they also serve as learning aids for those learning the instrument.

As always, you can keep a watch on our “Listing of Artists on iTunes” page for links to our discoveries found at the store. BTW, if you’re wondering why we even bother mentioning our findings it’s because Okinawan music is all over the place at the iTunes store (as is J-pop music and perhaps any type of music that’s not in the mainstream). There’s really no one way to find the stuff so leave it to nerds like us to do the legwork for you. Once in a while, we’d appreciate a little ‘thank you’ tho. 😉

Okinawan music collections on iTunes (it’s growing, slowly)

It was quite awhile ago when we found the wonderful Okinawan music colletion “Respect Records Presents Okinawa Best Song Collection” on iTunes and since then we’ve found two more. Titled “Okinawa Traditional,” (iTunes link) the 16-track collection from the High Wave label features top utasaa (Okinawan folk singer) like Seijin Noborikawa, Sadao China, Tetsuhiro Daiku, Yoshikazu Nago, Misako Oshiro, and Keiko Kinjo. Whereas the first find is a collection of traditional songs, our second find, from Respect Record, is a mixture of new and traditional songs. “Sanshin de Kikitai Okinawa Minyou Best 15,” (iTunes link) is a 15-track collection featuring the next generation of top musicians Tooru Yonaha and Ayano Uema to established musicians like Hirokazu Matsuda and Minoru Kinjo. Of this album, Tooru Yonaha’s “Uchinaa Sanba” (1st track) is one of my favorites of his compositions.

Yasukatsu Oshima’s albums available on iTunes!


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)

Introducing Ayako Miyara


If you’re looking into something on the mellower side than HandMC’s music, you may want to check out J-pop singer Ayako Miyara. The 26-year-old singer moved to Tokyo at the age of 20 to pursue her dream of making it as a singer and formed the unit ‘ciso’ which disbanded in 2002. Since going solo Ayako has released two mini-albums—both of which are available at the iTunes U.S. store (link opens iTunes)—and even started her own MySpace Music page. A live performance of Ayako singing “Yururi Yururi” is on YouTube and can be viewed down below.