jimama: Best of jimama

Here’s one that slipped through the net when released last year. The singer known as jimama has previously made two albums as well as a number of singles. This latest release is a 13 track compilation on the Epic/Sony label which rounds up the best of her songs – all of them originals either written or co-written by her.

After living in mainland Japan jimama returned to her native Okinawa in 2004 and has said that her lyrics became more simple and direct as a result of living again among the warm and straightforward island people.

Despite her love of the Ryukyus don’t expect any obvious roots music influence such as the use of sanshin. The accompaniment to her vocals is primarily from piano, guitar, bass, strings and percussion and has more in common with mainstream Japanese pop than shimauta. It’s a likeable and accomplished introduction to jimama though and she sings beautifully throughout. Of special note are the tracks ‘Daijobu’ and ‘Omoibumi’, while the song ‘Daddy’ features Chiharu Tamaki from the Okinawan duo Kiroro.

Another song on the album, ‘Eien no Kotoba ~ Eternity’, was featured in the movie Looking for Anne which was directed by jimama’s sister Takako Miyahira. I saw the film when it was screened in Naha last week. Set in Canada’s Prince Edward Island, the movie won top prize and best director for Miyahira at the 2009 Asian Festival of First Films.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Okinawan Albums

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