Friday, February 15, 2008
J Gospel hits Japan
By Michael IrelandChief Correspondent,
Partly in reaction to that and partly in a going back to their roots in indigenous forms of the genre, Yamamoto and others are seeing the birth of a completely Japanese version.
"Ranging from `Ryukyu Gospel` with the haunting tones of Japan`s southernmost Island, Okinawa to `Enka Gospel` written in the traditional Japanese musical style, J-Gospel has spawned a weekly Radio Program, soon moving to TV, Live concerts throughout the country and its own label," he said.From February 27 to March 2, in Shinjuku in central Tokyo, J-Gospel fans are preparing for what is being billed as the introduction of the genre to the world.Entitled Gospel Legend the five-day event in one of Japan`s premier venues will be featuring in addition to Kaori Yamamoto, J-Gospel bands such as Hide-C, Kiki, Yoshi Blessed, Route of Soul and more.
Event producer Yoshi Ikarashi says: "Starting from one of Japan`s key venues we are planning over a five day period to introduce J-Gospel to Japan and the world. Following the introduction in Japan, we are planning to taking J-Gospel to the world."
Japan`s newest invention is seen by some experts as a possibility to finally revive the last time a Japanese song hit the pop charts of the world -- in 1963 when the `Sukiyaki Song` sung by Kyu Sakamoto hit number one on the US Charts.
Yamamoto, Ikarashi and the other J-Gospel artists and their fans are convinced this can happen again beginning on April 27 in the heart of downtown Tokyo.
For more information on Gospel Legend,