A Mystical Land // The North of Japan

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From left to right: Japanese tourist, teenage bear, Ainu couple.

The island of Hokkaido is a world of wonder and mystery. For this musical journey, we are joined by experimental multi-media artist/dancer, Sammy Chien, who recently visited Hokkaido and shares with us his experiences with the native Ainu people.

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Taiwanese artist Sammy Chien

There are fascinating and disturbing parallels between the Ainu of Japan and First Nations cultures of Canada, a history of colonization and oppression – yet both groups are reclaiming their homeland and moving forward with dignity and hope.

Behold a mix of Hokkaido music – folk, rock, hip hop and more. Kane inuma!

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Tropical Ryukyu Grooves

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Rockin’ the sanshin ina rubadub stylee

Well this is a pleasant surprise..  Despite an unsettling history of occupation from outside forces, the Okinawa Islands (formerly the Ryukyu Kingdom) in the deep south of Japan are home to an amazing array of tropical musical flavours!  Not only a singular style of folk music (lovin’ that sanshin), but reggae and cumbia and oh my 神!!  Much more!

Also on this week’s program – Arab electro, Nigerian disco, Aussie soul, Incan prog, and who knows what else..