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Kurofune - songs from the black ships

by Chiyomi Yamada

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jamespk thumbnail
jamespk A very fine collection of songs indeed. All based on an interesting theme - easy to close your eyes and be transported back in time - wonderful. Difficult to pick an outright favourite track, ask me again tomorrow and I might say 'Kocha e bushi', .. 'In darkness let me dwell' ,.. 'Takeda Lullaby',... 'Passeavase el Rey Moro'....etc, etc, etc. Favorite track: Sendo no Yamma.
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    CD in Jewelcase incl Booklet with song texts and descriptions.

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Kurokami 07:31
Inoko 01:43


Chiyomi Yamada: A musical journey into the 16th and 17th Cent. between Europe and Japan

Japanese Soprano Chiyomi Yamada (山田千代美), accompanied by lutenists Toyohiko Satoh and David van Ooijen, performs songs from the European Courts and Japanese pleasure quarters of that time, bringing back to life the musical world of the missionaries and traders who first came to Japan on the famous Black Ships.

The songs on this recording are inspired by the story of the Tensho Boys: four young samurai escorted by Portuguese missionaries, whose Delegation to Europe set sail from Nagasaki in 1582 and lasted eight years. During this journey the Tensho boys had cultural contact with the Portuguese, Spanish and Italian Courts and they also learned to play European instruments. It is very probable that they heard these very songs during their trip. The Japanese part of this recording consists in well-known traditional Japanese “standards” in the 17th Century pleasure quarters, much visited back then by foreign merchants and sailors.

“Kurofune” is a possible musical snapshot of the fascinating era before the “locked state” (1639), a complex era of cultural exchanges between quintessentially different music, people, worldviews and lifestyles.


released January 1, 2011

Chiyomi Yamada - soprano
Toyohiko Satoh - lute
David Van Ooijen - guitar, lute


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Chiyomi Yamada Kumamoto, Japan

Singer of European Ancient Music and Japanese Traditional Folklore.
Traveller between musical worlds and ages searching for the eternal link between music and the human soul.
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