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Friday, April 30, 2004


Win CD of top Okinawan singers

Two copies of "Seijin Noborikawa and Sadao China," a CD of Okinawan folk songs by two leading singers, will be given away to readers of The Japan Times.

On the album, the first CD collaboration between these Koza- based singers, bluesy, mellow Okinawan music is in tertwined with sanshin (three-string instruments), shima daiko (Okinawan drums) and ryukin (Okinawan horizontal harp).

Noborikawa was born in 1930 in Hyogo Prefecture. At age 16, he joined the Matsuda Gekidan Theater Group in Okinawa as a singer and backing mu- sician. He was particularly prolific as a recording artist until the end of the 1960s. In recent years, his fame has spread with guest appearances in movies such as "Nabbie no Koi" and "Hotel Hibiscus."

China, who was born in Osaka in 1945, started learning sanshin from Noborikawa when he was 12 years old. In 1978, he thrilled Okinawans with his hit single "Bye Bye Okinawa." Later, he helped produce Nenes, the successful female folk-pop quartet.

Those interested in winning the CD, which is normally priced at 3,150 yen, should send a postcard to: The Japan Times-kakari, Respect Record Ltd., #902 Minami-Aoyama Reheim, 2-29-9 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062. Please give name, address, age, occupation and telephone number. The deadline is May 7.

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