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OKI Feat. Umeko Ando - JPop.com
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OKI Feat. Umeko Ando

OKI Feat. Umeko Ando

OKI Feat. Umeko Ando


A collaboration of two Ainu artists, Oki (オキ) and Umeko Ando (安東ウメ子). Born to a Japanese mother and an Ainu father, Oki was raised in an environment that tried to "assimilate away" the cultural roots of its indigenous Ainu populace. In 1992, and was presented with his first tonkori - the traditional, elongated five-stringed instrument of the Karafuto Ainu. Originating from the Sakhalin Island, the instrument inspired him to relocate to Hokkaido, where he taught himself to play and craft the tonkori. Read more on Last.fm
A collaboration of two Ainu artists, Oki (オキ) and Umeko Ando (安東ウメ子). Born to a Japanese mother and an Ainu father, Oki was raised in an environment that tried to "assimilate away" the cultural roots of its indigenous Ainu populace. In 1992, and was presented with his first tonkori - the traditional, elongated five-stringed instrument of the Karafuto Ainu. Originating from the Sakhalin Island, the instrument inspired him to relocate to Hokkaido, where he taught himself to play and craft the tonkori. Currently, Oki is the most prominent performer of this instrument in the world. His contemporary approach, which fuses Reggae, African and Electronica with Ainu folk melodies, has won praise not only in Japan, but also worldwide. Umeko Ando (1933 - 2004) was born in Fushiko Ainu village.

She was a renowned expert of the mukkuri (a bamboo jew's harp) and upopo (the traditional chanting of the Ainu). Immersed throughout her life with the culture, language and traditions of the Ainu, she became an important successor for the Ainu culture of the Obihiro district. Her participation on Oki's second album, Hankapuy, helped to gain her recognition. Her solo debut album, Ihunke, produced by Oki in 2001, was extolled by many critics and artists, and declared the best world music album of the year by many music publications in Japan.

This was followed by further critical success with her second album from Chikar Studio, Upopo Sanke (2003), gaining worldwide attention. On July 15, 2004 Umeko Ando died from cancer at her hometown Makubetsu-cho, Hokkaido. She was 71. Read more on Last.fm.

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