Hajime Nakasone at Ryubo Hall

Singer and sanshin player Hajime Nakasone made his first solo appearance in concert last night at Naha’s Ryubo Hall as part of a series of Okinawan music evenings which conclude on the 28th December with a performance by Yasukatsu Oshima. The 25 year old Nakasone made a solid album earlier this year, Uta nu Itu (reviewed elsewhere on this blog), which showed off his own style but it hardly prepared us for such a successful evening’s entertainment as the audience enjoyed last night.

Hajime Nakasone

Hajime Nakasone

Accompanied by Takae Tajima on island drums and vocals, Nakasone gave a masterly performance for around two hours. He sang many traditional songs from the Ryukyu Islands as well as classic songs by his mentor, the late Seijin Noborikawa, and a wonderful version of Choki Fukuhara’s ‘Munushiri Bushi’. There was also an example of some improvised kuduchi which Nakasone explained to the audience as “Okinawan rap”. And there was a Christmas song written by Nakasone and sung by two of his very young sanshin pupils (one of them Tajima’s daughter) who joined the musicians on stage.

Nakasone’s sanshin playing was superb throughout and the contribution of Tajima was also important. There was a large audience for this concert which, in fact, surpassed the attendance for Misako Oshiro’s concert the previous evening at the same venue. Most of all it is good to know that Nakasone continues to develop and that the future of Okinawan music is in such good hands.

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2 Comments on “Hajime Nakasone at Ryubo Hall”

  1. Nishi Says:

    So he has already become one of those splendid musicians who root their musical source and imagination on the islands of Ryûkyû.
    I feel like listening to his music in the not too distant future.
    Have you been to Ôshima’s recital as well?


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