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Nanbu Ushioi Uta

南部牛追唄

This is a piece of genre Min'yo from the Min'yo School.

Nanbu Ushioi Uta appears on the following albums

AlbumShakuhachiKotoShamisen
Beyond Time And Space Koga Masayuki

    Cow herding song

    The song is one of the most popular Japanese folk songs such as "Hietsuki-Bushi " and "Esashi Oiwake". Nanbu a place now called Iwate-prefecture, is mountainous region of northern Japan. It used to be a farmers' song. It is said that in those days when they plowed the soil by oxen and horses, they sang the song. It is a very melancholy song.

Journey of the Wind


Koto Melodies of Japan - Hogaku Yonin no Kai (The Four Players Group)


    In Iwate, near the eastern end of the Japanese mainland, this tune is sung by the people when they drive their cattle to pasture. The sound of the shakuhachi conveys the effect of pastoral scenery in a peaceful farming village.

Min'yo - Folk Song from Japan - Takahashi Yujiro and friends None

    This "Nambu Oxherd Song" from the north was sung while leading oxen carrying rice from the mountains to the sea, then bringing back salt and fish. Singing would soothe the oxen, as well as keeping away bears, boars and boredom.
    Here Yujiro is accompanied by the sound of his whip and by shouts to the cattle. Verse 1 has a pun on the word ki meaning both "spirit, will" and "tree"; such puns, frequent in all Japanese poetry, defy translation.

    My cattle, I know it's hard for you now, but the spirit/tree of perseverance
    will bear the fruit of wealth.
    Ekari and Kuzumaki are the home towns of the oxherds:
    we always set out in spring and return in autumn.
    (spoken:) Why does this ox just keep eating grass all the time? Com on, get moving faster!

    Copyright 1999 - Dr David W. Hughes
    e-mail dh6@soas.ac.uk

Minyo Meijin Series Kikuchi Tansui


Minyo Meijin Series Watanabe Kizo


Minyo no Sekai


Nihon Minyo - Shakuhachi Tokusen Shu - 1


Shakuhachi - Hamabe No Uta Mitsuhashi Kifu

Shakuhachi Min'yo - 1991


Shakuhachi Minyo Yes

Shakuhachi Minyo no Shirabe


Special Selection of Folk Songs for the Shakuhachi - 1


Tokusen Shakuhachi Minyo


World of Shakuhachi Yes

World of Shakuhachi, The Yashita Isamu

Yashita Isamu no Sekai



The International Shakuhachi Society - 2018