[Okinawa] Up-and-coming Miyako Island’s traditional folk singer Tadayuki Matsubara released his debut album on June 23.

Including songs like “Nariyama Ayagu,” “Irabu Togani,” and “Harimizu Nu Kuicha,” that is the song for a folk performing art “Kuicha” to which anyone from Miyako Island can dance, sung with simple and powerful singing voice, an album “Chura Umi, Chura Shima ~Ayagu, Miyako No Uta~” (Respect Record) with other representative songs of traditional folk songs born in Miyako Island is released on June 23, 2021.


The singer of this album and a promising newcomer for the next generation of Miyako Island’s traditional folk songs is Tadayuki Matsubara, who was apprentice from the age of 8 to 20 to the legendary traditional folk singer, Genji Kuniyoshi.

Tadayuki Matsubara (29 years old) was born in 1992 in Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture.

Matsubara’s grandparents on his father’s side are from Miyako Island, and his mother grew up in Miyako Island until graduating from junior high school. He opened the door to the world of sanshin as he admired his older cousin. He entered the Miyako Traditional Folk Song Institute of Genji Kuniyoshi, who was the representative Miyako Island traditional folk singer. Kuniyoshi was a legendary singer, who made the entire main island of Okinawa aware of the existence of Miyako Island’s folk songs that was hardly known at that time, in the 1960s. (*Editor’s note: Kuniyoshi passed away on May 4, 2021, at the age of 90)

Matsubara is a talented singer, who devoted himself to study under Kuniyoshi and received the newcomer award in the first year, the excellence award in the second year, and the highest award in the third year in the sanshin competitions. Five years later (when he was in the third year of junior high school), he was certified by his mater to be a teacher. His strengths are his clear singing voice like the sea of Miyako Island and powerful voice that echoes every corner of the island’s terrain.


The young singer to lead the next generation of the Miyako Island’s traditional folk world sings “Ayagu (song of heart).”


You can experience the splendor of Miyako Island’s traditional folk songs with all 16 recorded songs.


(Written by Haruka Konabe)



Message from Tadayuki Matsubara. 

“I would be very happy if the people who listen to this CD can reaffirm or newly realize the wonderfulness of Miyako Island’s traditional folk songs.”


■ Profile of Tadayuki Matsubara

Matsubara is a young singer who will lead the Miyako Island’s traditional folk world. 

He was born in Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture in 1992. His grandparents are from Miyako Island, and his mother grew up on the island until she graduated from junior high school. When Matsubara was little, he longed for the sanshin that his cousin played, and he started playing around with sanshin. When he was in the third grade of elementary school, his uncle (mother’s older brother) took him to the Miyako Traditional Folk Song Research Institute that was ran by Genji Kuniyoshi, a legend of the Miyako Island’s traditional folk song world.


Matsubara practiced sanshin daily and frequently visited the institute. By the time he was in his fifth grade of elementary school and could perform the group dance song, Kuichaa, Matsubara was always beside Genji Kuniyoshi. Every time there was an event, Kuniyoshi brought Matsubara to the stage as an accompaniment and to sing with. 


From the age of 27, having respect for Genji Kuniyoshi in mind, he began to actively perform to convey Miyako Island’s traditional folk songs, and in February 2021, he begun the recording of an album for the first time.





Tadayuki Matsubara “Chura Umi, Chura Shima ~Ayagu, Miyako No Uta~”


<Recorded songs> 

① Upuyupai (a cappella) 

② Togani Ayagu 

③ Niima Nu Shu 

④ Irabu Togani 

⑤ Shinkanushushagamayo (duet with Yoshiko Kuniyoshi, wife of Genji Kuniyoshi) 

⑥ Nariyama Ayagu 

⑦ Uni Nu Shu 

⑧ Namasu Nu Guu

⑨ Shogatsu Nu Ayagu 

⑩ Ikema Nu Shu 

⑪ Yunamudaki Kanisuzagama 

⑫ Mami Ga Pana 

⑬ Tarama Shonkane 

⑭ Harimizu Nu Kucha ~Yonamumi Nu Anigama 

⑮ Kanai Wago 

⑯ Honen No Uta

RES335 / Released on June 23, 2021 / 3,080 yen




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