Mika Uchizato in Chatan
It’s a bit too early to talk of ‘comebacks’ when Mika Uchizato is still only 33, but the singer and sanshin player has been touring and recording again after devoting much of the past decade to bringing up two young daughters on her home island of Minami Daito. Earlier this year she finally released her long-awaited third album Mika No Uta and last night she gave a live show at Mod’s in Chatan, Okinawa. This return to Okinawa was the last night of a tour to promote the album (reviewed elsewhere on this blog) and it included dates in Nagoya, Tokyo and Yokohama.
For the homecoming to Okinawa, where Uchizato previously lived, her sanshin was accompanied by Hideki Tanaka’s guitar on several songs and during the second half she was joined by singer, sanshin and keyboard player Kazutoshi Matsuda – the man who produced her recent album.
Uchizato has lost none of her skill or ability and she performed several songs from the new album including excellent versions of ‘Sa-Sa Bushi’ and ‘Ishikubiri’. She also sang the title track of her second album ‘Kaze no Shonkane’ and the song ‘Kawa’ which was written for her by Yasukatsu Oshima. The second half began with a fine version of the traditional ‘Nakuni’, there was a duet with Matsuda on ‘Densuna’ and the encores finished with the expected ‘Toshin Doi’. It was all a very rewarding experience for us in the audience and for Mika Uchizato herself who fought back the tears in an emotional ending to her return to Okinawa.