Kumamoto Japan Music
Japanese folk music festival that presents the songs of the people, Kanehira Ooedo from Nihonbashi, a song that takes you on a journey to a famous city and describes how it used to be. Although he hails from Nagatani, the irony is that most of Japan's early country stars actually came from the same city, Kumoto, just a few miles from his hometown. Born in a small town in Chiba Prefecture, about 30 miles south of Tokyo, he first heard country music when he turned on the dial for the Far East network.
Japanese-language country music that few artists have had or have had success with after translating versions of Kazuya Kosaka and Tomi Fujiyama, but the closest to reality was his own version of it. This does not mean that he has created a successful work himself, however, because he has behaved himself with the help of his wife and his two sons Katsuya and Hirokazu.
The songs on the CD contain traditional folk and pop melodies that date back decades, but he says that his music is unique and beloved, so it is important not to lump all the music he finds in Okinawa together. He has visited Japan several times to share his music with the people of the still-rebuilding area and show them that they have not been forgotten.
Okinawan music has evolved over time and many genres have diversified and mixed with Minyo (traditional Okinawan songs). Although there are many genre sounds, a lot of traditional music in Okinawa has influences that stem from the fact that it was once part of the Ryukyu Empire.
Sanshin, the classical sound of traditional Okinawan music, can also contain other, diverse elements, including a variety of different styles of guitar, bass, drums and other instruments. Each of the music you listen to has its own uniqueness and has different sounds depending on the region and island.
If you are playing in your neighbourhood, I hope you can give it a go and support one of the many local Kumamoto Japanese music organisations out there.
If you are looking for a family-friendly attraction near Mount Fuji or just want to enjoy a classic European atmosphere in one place, I recommend the Kawaguchiko Music Forest as another place worth visiting. Take the Limited Express or Fuji Excursion train and go to Hiroshima, the About an hour and a half drive from Kumamoto city centre. Hiroshima is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and home to some of Japan's most famous landmarks.
About an hour and a half drive from Kumamoto city centre, you can reach Hiroshima by Limited Express or Fuji Excursion train. About an hour and a half walk from Hiroshima railway station to Kumazaki, about half an hour drive in the opposite direction.
Japan Rail Pass users can travel between Tokyo and Kumamoto on a combination of Hikari and Sakura trains. There are two types of trains that can be used in the city centre: Limited Express or Fuji Excursion Train. Japan Rail Pass users can also travel from Tokyo to Kumazaki on the combined Hikarai or Sakura train, and from there on the limited express train and Fuji excursion trains to Hiroshima and Hiroshima via the Tokyo-Kansai line to Tokyo.
The regional train from Fukuoka to Kumamoto takes two and a half hours, without a change in Omuta, at a cost of Y = 2,070. The local trains from Hakodate, and then 2-2 hours in the morning and 1 hour and 40 minutes at night, reach Kumazaki and no change in Omutas, for cost y = 2090.
Japanese country fans were also at the airport and I met Charlie and Seiya. All said they had travelled all the way from Japan to listen to real traditional country music. Most of them, however, stayed on to cover the latest American hits directly.
The lullaby "Takeda" originated in Aichi Prefecture, but was brought to Kyoto and adapted into a children's song, which made it very popular. The simple, sentimental lyrics were sung in a style that many Japanese had never heard before and that many of them had only just come to know. Kosugi performed in the USA for many years before becoming a popular Minyo singer in Japan.
Moreover, Japan's population is shrinking, and it remains to be seen whether Tokyo and the country's music underground can hold out for another generation. Unfortunately, the music that is offered for sale in Japan and other countries is so old that most CDs are out of stock after their release. In 1993 many songs of the Minyo Japanese Pops were recorded for CD and went on King Record. Enthusiasts are encouraged to receive these recordings when they are available, but in 1993 many of them are still available on CD.