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JAPAN – BELGIUM: CULTURAL RELATIONS

Or the opportunity to discover the cultural treasures of Japan in Brussels, as part of the 150 years of friendly and diplomatic relations between both countries.

jap03Ryoichiro and Kenichi Yoshida or the Yoshida Brothers recently gave a recital of Tsugaru shamisen to Flagey, a Japanese folk music style played on several regional variations of the shamisen (三味線). A Japanese traditional musical instrument from the 16th century that is a kind of lute with a long handle, three strings and a smooth touch. Both brothers started learning the shamisen at the age of five. In 1990, they devoted themselves to the study of the Tsugaru shamisen under the aegis of Takashi Sasaki. They opted for a contemporary music creation, which gives a unique result. A mix of traditional sound with more modern rhythms. Their serene composition and sensitivness transmits a certain tranquility.

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After winning the first Shamisen Tsugaru national congress awards, the Yoshida Brothers won recognition in 1999. Their first album was sold at more than 100.000 copies, an unusual figure for a traditional folk music production. They won the “Album of the Year” award in the Traditional Japanese Music category at the Prix du Disque d’Or in Japan and many other meaningfull awards. The Yoshida Brothers realized in 2002 their first national tour, entitled “Live Soul”, in more than 30 cities. The following year, they make their American debut with the album “Yoshida Brothers” and performed in New York and Los Angeles. They are thus a real virtuoso duet of traditional Japanese music, which now count almost 15 years of international experience. They also recorded last year the music of the Japanese cartoon “Naruto”, which has been sold at more than one hundred million copies. An outsized artistic group then whose field of activity goes far beyond traditional Japanese music, the Yoshida Brothers are constantly expanding their reputation not only in Japan but also worldwide.

A sample of the Yoshida Brothers music: https://youtu.be/x_CzD0GBD-4

Let’s discover Japanese culture to: http://www.be.emb-japan.go.jp/english/culture/event.html

Olivier Bulto

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