Celebrate Japan: Kina Shoukichi

On my iPod, I have an album called Peppermint Tea House with music by Kina Shoukichi and the Champloose. It is an infectious mix of Okinawan folk music and Japanese pop with extraordinary, high-pitched female vocals and Kina Shoukichi holding the whole thing together with an earthy voice and his shamisen. That’s the 3-stringed instrument you hear in the accompaniment to the Heron Maiden dance. A classical Japanese instrument with a long and illustrious history.

This is Kina Shoukichi and the Champloose with some famous names at the Great Music Experience at Todai-ji in Nara in 1994. Unfortunately, not on the shamisen, but the electric guitar.