Yasukatsu Oshima concert

Last night the Yaeyama singer and sanshin player Yasukatsu Oshima gave a concert in front of a large audience at Naha’s Sakurazaka Theatre. This was to promote his new album Shimawataru~Across the Islands and is part of a short tour which has already taken him to Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. Today he plays on his home island of Ishigaki and then there’s a final concert back in Tokyo in September.

Although a master of traditional songs, Oshima has also become a skilled songwriter and the concert last night featured almost entirely self-composed songs. In the first half he sang selections from his previous albums and after the interval he ran through most of the songs from the latest release. He was accompanied most of the time by Kenji Kondo on acoustic guitar and Satoshi “Sunday” Nakasone on island drums.

Yasukatsu Oshima

The trio blended superbly and Oshima gave another impeccable performance of singing and playing. Among many highlights were the new songs ‘Matsuri no Ato’ and ‘Kunatsuyu’ and older favourites ‘Ryusei’, ‘Akayura’, and ‘Irayoi Tsukiyahama’. A stunning solo version of the iconic Yaeyama song ‘Tubarama’ was included as one of the encores and the evening was rounded off with Oshima’s version of the song ‘Shiraho Bushi’ which is from the village where he grew up on Ishigaki.

Now 43, Oshima seems to be at the peak of his powers and has added a rare talent for creating original compositions to his well-known love of the old island songs. Long may it last. The high regard in which he is held was also evidenced by the large number of musicians to be seen in the audience last night, and these included Sadao China and Kanako Horiuchi.

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2 Comments on “Yasukatsu Oshima concert”

  1. Izumi Nishi Says:

    I missed it! Did you highly recommend somewhere his latest album, didn’t you? I’ve got to wait for his next concert at Sakurazaka, listening to it.


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