Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Carpe Diem #1493 Okinawa ... the music of Southern Japan

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... yesterday we were in the Northern region of Japan listening to the music of the Ainu and today we will stay in Japan, but we will visit the Southern region ... Today we will visit Okinawa.

Let me tell you a little bit about the folkmusic of this region of Japan, Okinawa:

Okinawan music (Okinawa ongaku), also known as Ryukyuan music (Ryūkyū ongaku), is the music of the Okinawa Islands of southwestern Japan.

Created and sung by the commoners, folk music gained positive evaluation with the rise of folklorists led by Yanagita Kunio. Folk music is described by the Japanese term min'yō. Since the kingdom was annexed, some members of the former Yukatchu class spread Shuri-based high culture to other areas of Okinawa. Some of such new elements are today seen as part of folk culture.

Ancient Shrine at Hiji Falls Okinawa

Okinawa's folk songs are generally accompanied by one (or more) sanshin.

Yunta is a genre of folk song originating in the Yaeyama Islands. The verses and choruses of the song are sung alternately by the men and the women. The word origin of yunta is said to be from yumi uta ("reading song") or yui uta ("tying/knotting song").

Sounds great ... so here is our music video for this episode about Okinawa's folkmusic:

I hope you did like this wonderful music from Okinawa and of course I hope it will inspire you to create Japanese poetry.

Enjoy the music and become inspired.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 15th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

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