No-Face has apparently moved to Aomori and taken up playing tsugaru-jamisen on the street

Famed Ghibli character apparently couldn’t cut it making movies, seems to have resorted to busking to get by.

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Monsters of Shamisen: New music for an old instrument  【J-Tunes】

When it comes to Japanese music, one of the most iconic sounds is that of the tsugaru-jamisen. We’ve written about musicians playing the folk instrument before, but today we have a group with a traditional, but decidedly unique, approach: the three-man group Monsters of Shamisen.

From heavy metal to traditional Japanese music and throat singing, there’s sure to be something here for everyone!

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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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