I love Tsugaru Shamisen. A recent FB entry by Kyoto Journal inspired me to write this blog. Thank you, Kyoto Journal.
Fellow bloggers, you are not fooled by stereo types. Right? You know Japanese women can be very strong. Ahem. She can be romantic, too. This is a proof. The site below, Yoko Nagayama sings “Jonkara Women Melody” while playing her Tsugaru-style wide shamisen. A Japanese web site teaches us that the type of melody and shamisen grew together in the northeast. And Jonkara’s roots goes back to the Edo period when very poor priests sang their protest songs against the rulers to survive.
“Jonkara Women Melody”
translated, of course, by me.
Snow dances from below.
It sticks to the train of my red kimono.
The wide shamisen. Women’s travel road.
Flaming up, smoldering, bursting, and fretting
I have a man I cannot separate.
I want you to understand.
The lead-colored sky
Spring is too far from me.
If I played my wide shamisen, a string would split.
Hate, love, pain, and bitterness tangle up around my fingers.
I want you!