Folk Music of Japan

What a gem to stumble on!  The recordings are a little quiet and noise riddled, but pretty easy to ignore once you start diving into the material.

At first I felt that some of the track were very similar to many Native American recordings and performances I’ve listened to; but as I continued through the album there was also a lot of call-and-response that was very akin to a lot of traditional West African &/or African American music, which was very cool.

Also little kids chanting in chorus is adorable!!

Listen Here!

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Folk Music of Japan

Another Mononoke Post

Alright, I know that everyone and their peoples love this movie and have since the dawn of man, but you know what–so do I.

Re-watched this gem this weekend and I still am amazed by the artistry and general message.  There also seems to be a slight undercurrent of “real” Japanese history of the aboriginal Japanese being murdered and/or expelled to various regions as described in Toshihiko Abe’s “Japan’s Hidden Face”.  Although I haven’t been a huge fan of this read, from an American perspective, it does bring to light some interesting alternative history ala Native American history v. U.S. government history that we aren’t necessarily exposed to in school settings.

As a four-year-old, I cut my Miyazaki teeth on “My Neighbor Totoro” and it is still very close to my heart, but honestly I think this film has a lot more guts. Ultimately, the end of the story is not some eco-terrorist “down with all industry,” but more of a cooperative “let’s learn how to make the things we want/need without destroying what makes the earth beautiful.”

Also Princess Mononoke’s fur-cap-mask is pretty badass; am I right or am I right? XD

Another Mononoke Post