Shoukichi Kina

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Shoukichi Kina(喜納昌吉,Kina Shōkichi, born June 10, 1948 in Koza, Okinawa), is a Japanese rock musician and politician. He, along with his band Champloose, played a large role in the Okinawan home-grown "folk rock" scene in the 1970s and 1980s. His first big hit was "Haisai Ojisan" ("Hey, old man") in 1972, which he wrote when he was in high school. Songs from the 1980 album Blood Lines, like "Hana" and "Subete no Hito no Kokoro ni Hana o", are frequently heard in international markets. [1]

Shoukichi Kina & Champloose is a Japanese band from Okinawa blending traditional Okinawan music with a strong Western rock influence. Their name is apparently derived from the word for a traditional Okinawan stir-fry, chanpuru. Singer and lead songwriter Shoukichi Kina's electric sanshin was a particularly distinctive part of their sound. First major single was the classic "Haisai Ojisan", written while Kina was still in high school but not a hit until a few years later, in 1972. Later, Champloose's version of the Okinawan folk song "Jin Jin" (Firefly) was a minor hit in British discos, and their ballad "Hana" (Flowers), with vocals by Kina's wife, became a weepy favourite in many Asian countries.

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He was elected a member of the House of Councillors in July 2004. In 2010 he ran for a second term but lost. [2]

Activism

Kina's activism is especially focused on peace efforts in his own prefecture of Okinawa, and much of his work as a composer makes explicit links between his art and his activism. Examples of this include his song "Kana-ami no nai shima" or his revision of the song "Shin-jidai no nagare" to add in lyrics that contain words by political activist Chibana Shoichi. [3] He also created The White Ship of Peace Project, [4] to “bring to the USA a message of peace for the future,” to counter to what he called the "black ships" that came to Japan after Matthew C. Perry opened Japan's doors to trade with the west. He also coined the slogan, “Lay down your weapons, take up musical instruments,” which he used during a trip to the United States for the project where he presented a sanshin to the UN secretary general. [5] Kina also performs "peace concerts" in war-torn places, most recently in Baghdad. [6]

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The sanshin is an Okinawan musical instrument and precursor of the mainland Japanese shamisen ( 三味線). Often likened to a banjo, it consists of a snakeskin-covered body, neck and three strings.

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References

  1. Strauss, Neil (16 Jul 1994). "Okinawa Gives Its Flavor To Rock". New York Times. Retrieved 20 Oct 2015.
  2. https://powerofokinawa.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/shoukichi-kina-fails-in-re-election-bid/
  3. Roberson, James (2009). "Memory and Music in Okinawa: The Cultural Politics of War and Peace". Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique 3.
  4. Figal, Gerald (2003). "Waging Peace on Okinawa". In Hein, Laura (ed.). Islands of Discontent: Okinawan Responses to Japanese and American Power. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN   0742518663.
  5. Figal, Gerald. "Waging Peace On Okinawa." Critical Asian Studies 33.1 (2001): 37-69. Political Science Complete. Web. 18 Oct. 2015.
  6. "Live peace in Baghdad". The Globe and Mail (Canada). February 15, 2003 via LexisNexis Academic.