三味線。Shamisen Player in Misawa, Japan. Shamisen demonstration using a Modern Beat in the key of a minor. Jazz Fusion Shamisen style. Shamisen is used today in a variety of modern music including Rock, Jazz, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, World Music (Middle Eastern music such as Arabic and Persian) Hip Hop & Rap, Indian Raga, American Bluessgrass and Eastern Euroean Gypsy music. The Shamisen is originally a traditional Japanese instrument. It was imported into Japan from China over 400 years ago where it was first played in Okinawa. Later the Geisha culture, Kabuki theater and Puppet theater of mainland Japan adopted the Shamisen as a replacement for the BIWA. The large plectrum called Bachi is inherited from the Biwa and gives the Shamisen that authentic Japanese tone. Along with Koto, Shakuhachi and taiko drums, Shamisen has made a home for itself in the traditional Arts of Japan and is an important symbol of Japanese culture today.
For more info seearch youtube for Bachido and look up some Great Shamisen documentaries featured in presentations such as BEGIN JAPANOLOGY and the cult classic film Birth of California Shamisen by filmmaker Nao Nakazawa.
California Shamisen is a New style which embraces a new limitless method of playing the Japanese Shamisen. Based in the Tsugaru Shamisen philosophy of Don`t imitate others, Play the things that only YOU can play, California Shamisen is the next logical step in the development of the Tsugaru Shamisen playing style. Today several American Shamisen Players are breaking new ground. They include Mike Penny whose bed intruder Shamisen cover went viral and who is responsible for such Modern Shamisen Pop/Rock classics as Leaving Forever and Sou Da Ne. Mike Penny fuses a variety of music from Western Classical to Modern Jazz using the three strings as his musical playground. To hear Modern Metal and Death Metal Shamisen music look up God of Shamisen. In Santa Cruz, Kyle Abbott, another American Master of Shamisen has founded the BACHIDO community which is an online community of Shamisen fans, players and enthusiasts who meet on the Bachido forum to share ideas and their excitement for Tsugaru Shamisen as well as various other Shamisen styles.
Great Japanese players include Takahashi Chikuzan, Shirakawa Gunpachiro, Masahiro Nitta, Oyama Yutaka, Hiromitsu Agatsuma, Camui Hiroharu, Takemi Hirohara, Shirafuji Hikari, Sho Asanoand the Yoshida Brothers. Additionally Japanese players such as Reigen Fujii are experiementing heavily with developing a chordal Jazz-based language for modern Shamisen music.
I hope you enjoy this example of Shamisen played by a Gai Jin Player in Misawa, Japan. As we say at Bachido, Bachi On!
Long Live the future of Tsugaru Shamisen and California Shamisen!
Monsters of Shamisen 2014
Tsugaru Jongara bushi
Tsugaru Aiya bushi
Tsugaru San Sagari
Yasaburo, folk songs of Tsugaru in Aomori, JAPAN
Also available on Youtube are Modern Shamisen covers of J-pop songs by artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ And BABYMETAL