Yasukatsu Oshima: 20th anniversary concert

Last night Yaeyama singer and sanshin player Yasukatsu Oshima gave a solo concert at Naha’s Sakurazaka Theatre to mark his 20 years as a professional musician. It is hard to believe that two decades has already passed since his debut album was released. Oshima has made great strides since he was one of the most promising singers of his generation and he is now firmly established at the forefront of musicians from the Ryukyu Islands. He continues to go from strength to strength.

Yasukatsu Oshima

Yasukatsu Oshima

In yesterday’s concert Oshima played two distinct sets. In the first half he performed traditional songs from the Yaeyama Islands. Many of these were relatively unknown, for Oshima is a great one for searching out and rediscovering old songs from his islands. Probably the best known of these was his version of Iriomote’s ‘Densa Bushi’. He also included songs from his own home village of Shiraho in Ishigaki. In contrast, the second half comprised original songs by Oshima. Many of these are almost indistinguishable from the traditional folk music he grew up with and they included his popular ‘Akayura’ and his Rinsho Kadekaru-inspired ‘Ryusei’. He concluded the second set fittingly with the song he co-wrote with Begin’s Eisho Higa and which opens his debut album, ‘Irayoi Tsukiyahama’.

At the entrance to the concert hall was a large bouquet of flowers which had been sent to Oshima to commemorate his 20 years by fellow musicians Yukito Ara and Isamu Shimoji who play together as the duo Sakishima Meeting.

Poster advertising Oshima's concert at the Sakurazaka Theatre

Poster advertising Oshima’s concert at the Sakurazaka Theatre

Congratulations from Yukito Ara and Isamu Shimoji

Congratulations from Yukito Ara and Isamu Shimoji

 

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