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The Nenes (ネーネーズ) are a group of four women who sing Okinawan folk songs, and perform on traditional instruments and in traditional costumes. While Okinawa is today considered part of Japan, it has its own distinct culture, of which residents are very proud. Okinawa is also a tropical island and resort oriented locale, which many people enjoy visiting. Traditional Okinawan music is usually played on a three stringed instrument called a sanshin, which is similar to the Japanese shamisen, and perhaps related to the banjo. It has a syncopated rhythm which some have called “Japanese reggae”, and which many people find as an earthy yet festive feel to it. The group was formed in 1990 by China Sadao, who brought together musicians who had been performing separately. The group soon became surprisingly popular given that their music was well outside of the pop mainstream. Their independently released Ikawu sold well, and the group was signed to Sony. Ryuichi Sakamoto recorded with them and took them on a European tour, which brought them a much bigger following. The group however seems to aspire more to being cultural ambassadors than pop stars. The group plays a wide range of events and venues, including a residency at a club in Naha. The membership changes from time to time, but the group remains very much dedicated to presenting the traditional sounds of Okinawa.


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  • garynotrashcoug

    I love their music so much and it's so hard to find!

    1 Oct 2014 Reply
  • msc122

    I am fuddled with their very beautiful song voice.

    16 Dec 2013 Reply
  • LKM123

    what the fuck why Indie is on tags?

    2 Mar 2010 Reply
  • knoflikari

    I've heard Nenes yesterday for the first time in polish public radio! It's GREAT!

    17 Apr 2009 Reply
  • adsuertes

    no women no cry has many version ,and this one has its own jp relish,and i like it, maybe i'm from another asian country.

    7 Aug 2008 Reply
  • jvglion

    This is awesome!

    19 Jun 2008 Reply
  • kedzierxD

    Nenes - A Star of Trance From Amsterdam :| :PPPPP

    22 Feb 2008 Reply
  • _duif

    umkaji is so beautiful.

    7 Sep 2007 Reply

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