"Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points." ~D.T. Suzuki

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shamisen - The Yoshida Brothers


Yoshida Brothers
Ryōichirō Yoshida
(Yoshida Ryōichirō?, born 26 July 1977)

Kenichi Yoshida
(Yoshida Ken'ichi?, born 16 December 1979)
were born in Noboribetsu in Hokkaido, Japan.
They have played the shamisen from a very young age.
They began to study the shamisen from 5 years of age
under Koka Adachi, learning the Minyō-shamisen style;
from about 1989 they studied the Tsugaru-jamisen style
under Takashi Sasaki.
The Shamisen is sort of a banjo type instrument that is common in traditional Asian music 
(particularly in Japan)
The shamisen or samisen
(literally "three strings"),
also called sangen (literally "three strings"),
is a three-stringed, Japanese musical instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi.
The brothers are performers of the traditional
Japanese music style of Tsugaru-jamisen
which originated in northern Japan.
They debuted in 1999 in Japan as a duo
playing the shamisen.

Their first album sold over 100,000 copies and
made them minor celebrities in Japan, a fact that
surprised the Yoshida Brothers themselves.

These young talented brothers have attracted
an avid international audience.
Their music has been a fusion of the rapid
 and percussive Tsugaru-jamisen style along with Western and other regional musical influences.

In addition to performing songs on the shamisen, they also use instruments
such as drums and synthesizers.
© 2014 MU-Peter Shimon

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