Ki&Ki: The new face of traditional Japanese music

The world of traditional Japanese music is incredibly varied–there’s exciting min’you folk music, austere gagaku ancient imperial court music, and the ethereal tunes of Noh plays. But one genre in particular stands out among the all others: tsugaru-jamisen.

A fast, lively style of playing born out of min’you as performed by traveling entertainers, tsugaru-jamisen hails from Aomori Prefecture and is the youngest genre of “traditional” Japanese music. And, from Hiromitsu Agatsuma and the late Takahashi Chikuzan to the Yoshida Brothers and Kevin Kmetz, there is no shortage of talented, inspiring performers in the tsugaru-jamisen world.

But for us, one duo in particular stands out: Ki&Ki.

Even if you don’t recognize the name, you may already be familiar with these two incredibly talented young women thanks to their numerous YouTube videos. Recently we got the chance to sit down with the pair to learn a little bit about their history with tsugaru-jamisen.

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