Min'yo is the Japanese terms for folk songs. The main instruments used to accompany min'yo are the shamisen, the shinobue (a small transverse bamboo flute), and percussion. Japanese folk songs are very diverse. They can be for work (e.g., fishing songs), dance, weddings, rituals, drinking, to bring or stop rain, and more. The lyrics may be personal, local, or about sexual matters -- or may simply be near-nonsense in order to accompany a lively dance. They also represent different regions. Most song titles on this CD are indicative of where the songs come from (e.g., regions such as Tsugara and Nambu). Of the 26 songs on the CD, 17 are from northern Japan. This CD gives a very wide and pertinent overview of Japanese traditional music through its folk songs. Highly recommended.
AllMusic Review by Bruno Deschênes