Awich+Manami: In the Battle.

Awich sang the song ‘South Tinjanashi’ with hip-hop artists Tatsumi Chibana and Kakumakushaka on their groundbreaking Duty Free Shopp album Oto Ashagi. She is also known in Okinawa as a poet and DJ and was the organiser of the Flow Manifesto bilingual spoken word events. By contrast, Manami is a pure pop singer who is best-known as the voice and face of songs used in Orion beer commercials. Her catchy synth-pop compositions are immediately recognisable.

Via Power of Okinawa.

I'm not always a big fan of these sorts of lists, but there are some great discovers to be made clicking through. Once, long ago, I wrote my university dissertation on animated films from east and west, and if anything shows how anime has pierced the western consciousness, its the mix that is included here. 

I link this up for anyone who has an interest in Japan and in how you can do cross-cultural communication in a really cool way. There are already a bunch of back-episodes to download and I`m pretty sure if you have found this blog, you will want to take a look.

This is a great piece from The Guardian about how music and culture are combining to combat brute force politics.

"Our job as musicians should be to celebrate the good and do something about fixing the bad," said Kina, who some have called Okinawa’s answer to Bob Marley. "That’s why I hate the military bases here, but I love Americans."

And then.

The spirit of resistance pioneered by Kina is to be found in the more eclectic music of Tatsumi Chibana, a quietly spoken 33-year-old university graduate and perhaps the most visible of Okinawa’s new generation of rebel artists, fusing traditional sounds with rock, reggae and hip-hop.

It goes on to cover some interesting points on Okinawa`s cultural waves. Be sure to take a couple of minutes to watch the video interview with Lisa Nagamine.

What does one do when beset by illness, bad luck, or a case of lost keys? If you’re in Okinawa one possibility is to consult a yuta. The yuta are female spirit mediums who have been around for centuries, though it was not always easy for them. Many people know of the Salem witch trials and other examples of such persecution throughout Western history. However, I would venture to guess that very few would know that there were similar occurrences in the history of Okinawa.

And then.

Compared to the yuta, the noro are an interesting contrast. At the most basic level, noro were priestesses, while the yuta were spirit mediums. They were both women involved in rites, rituals, and spiritual work. However, positions such as the noro were generally inherited matrilineally, and were part of a system. On the other hand, yuta were individuals who had “awakened to their own psychic or spiritual abilities.” Being a yuta was a self-proclaimed vocation, with no requirements needed or qualifications to be shown. If someone had a problem they could pay a yuta to consult with the spirits and find a solution, and there were always people with problems.

I love the Tofugu features.