Back to J-Pop World Homepage

J-Pop World Home

Yoshida Brothers Vital Stats

Birthplace: Noboribetsu, Hokkaido
Birthday: July 26, 1977
Height: 172cm
Blood type: A

Birthplace: Noboribetsu, Hokkaido
Birthday: Dec 16, 1979
Height: 172cm
Blood type: A

Overland Blues song sample


Yoshida Brothers
1 Starting On A Journey (Tabidachi)
2 Blooming (Hyakka Ryouran)
3 Madrugada
4 Storm
5 A Hill With No Name (Namonaki Oka)
6 Tsugaru Jyongara Bushi -Kenichi Version-
7 Labyrinth -Modern Second Movement-
8 Sprouting (Moyuru)
9 Beyond The Deep Sea (Fukai Umi No Kanata)
10 Tsugaru Jyongara Bushi -Ryoichiro Version-
11 Storm -T.M.Mix-

Yoshida Brothers II
1 Frontier
2 Gales of Wind (Hayate)
3 Mirage (Shinkiro)
4 Lullaby of Takeda (Takeda no Komoriuta)
5 Kodo
6 Indigo
7 Kagero
8 Evening Calm (Yuunagi)
9 Nikata
10 Old/New - Modern Third Movement
11 Arigato
12 Kodo - Inside the Sun Remix

Yoshida Brothers III
1 Erghen Diado
2 Passion
3 Canon
4 Hit Song
5 Overland Blues
6 Cherry Blossoms in Winter
7 By This River
8 Morricone
9 On My Love
10 Tsugaru Jinku
11 My Heart Holds
12 Tsugaru Jongara Bushi (Bonus Track)

Hishou (Flight)
1 Prelude: Hishou
2 Ibuki (Hishou Version)
3 Kodo (Hishou Version)
4 Ringo Bushi
5 Ajigasawa Jinku
6 Yasaburou Bushi
7 Panorama
8 Tsugaru Yosare Bushi (Hishou Version)
9 Time of Sand
10 Tsugaru Aiya Bushi (Hishou Version)
11 Modern (Hishou Version)
12 Dual
13 Tsugaru Jongara Bushi (Hishou Version)
14 Postlude: Hishou

Best of Yoshida Brothers
Released June 3rd, 2008
1 Storm
2 Kodo (Hishou Version)
3 Overland Blues
4 A Hill With No Name
5 Modern (Hishou Version)
6 Saiun
7 Passion
8 My Heart Holds
9 Blooming
10 Cherry Blossoms in Winter
11 Kodo (Inside The Sun Remix)
12 Rising
13 Morricone

Where to Buy
CD Japan
CD Baby

See their Official site and MySpace page for more info.

Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link:
Interview Comments

Yoshida Brothers Interview

Yoshida Brothers - photo by DMG Where does East meet West and the past meet the future? That would be in the exotic and stirring music of the Yoshida Brothers. In the land of the rising sun, where so often technology is king, two young boys grew up not with guitars and electric synthesizers but with the venerable Shamisen, a traditional three-stringed instrument that traces its origins back to ancient China.

But don't let a mere three strings fool you. Under the accomplished prowess of brothers Ryoichiro and Kenichi the Shamisen has been propelled into the modern age, combining the best of Japan's musical past with the modern sensibilities for which their country is so well known. So take one step back in time and one into the future to say hello to the new masters of the Shamisen -- the Yoshida Brothers of Japan.

On May 15th, 2008 Ryoichiro and Kenichi Yoshida were kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World.

When most Westerners think of Japan they think high tech. For music that means the very latest in synthesizers, electric guitars and digital effects. But out of all the instruments in the modern world you choose to play the traditional three-stringed Shamisen, an instrument that can date its origin back to 16th century China. What does the Shamisen mean to you?

Yoshida Brothers - photo by Rae Huo - click for full size Ryoichiro: The Shamisen is a part of my body!

Kenichi: I try not to make it just as my work tool, more as my hobby tool.

How would you describe your musical style?

Kenichi: We always try something new with this instrument, but we always try to keep the tradition alive at the same time.

Your debut 1999 album sold over 100,000 copies, a groundbreaking number for music of this genre. Tell us about that year in your lives.

Ryoichiro: Right after we made our debut in Japan, I was surrounded by some people in my generation and they asked me for an autograph... I never thought that any Shamisen player would become like this.

Yoshida Brothers - photo by DMG - click for full size Not content with your success in your native Japan, in 2003 you set your sites on the rest of the world. Your first US release was the self-titled "Yoshida Brothers." As you've toured the US over the years how have those American audiences changed?

Kenichi: When we made our debut in the US and had our first US tour most of our audiences were Japanese-American or Japanese people. But nowadays we have been seeing lots of different American audiences, like young kids banging their heads!

Your third release to the US, Yoshida Brothers III, contains several notable cover songs including John Lennon & Yoko Ono's "Oh My Love." How did you pick that song in particular?

Ryoichiro: Our producer, Tony Berg, brought this song to us and we thought the Japanese-like melody would work with the Shamisen.

Your last album was called "Hishou" (flight). What were you trying to convey with the title?

Yoshida Brothers - photo by Rae Huo - click for full size Ryoichiro: Actually "Hishou" is the album title taken from our hand-made album before we made our major debut. The first "flight" was the one in Japan, so this time I believe the "flight" is towards the world.

How does it differ from your past recordings?

R & K: "Hishou" was recorded by just us as a duo. Through our overseas activities we gained enough confidence to record an album with only the Shamisen.

Best of Yoshida Brothers - click for full size You have a new release called "Best of Yoshida Brothers - Tsugaru-Shamisen" (see our full review) coming out on June 3rd. "Tsugaru" refers to the larger version of the Shamisen you both favor. Tell us a little about the new album.

Kenichi: It's been 5 years since we made our US debut and we thought the time was right to release our first "best of" album.

Looking back over your career so far, what Yoshida Brothers song do you consider to be your "signature song" and why?

Kenichi: I believe that the traditional "Tsugaru Jongara Bushi" has all the elements of Tsugaru-Shamisen and it represents the Shamisen itself.

Yoshida Brothers - photo by DMG - click for full size You are in the midst of a major tour of the US and Canada. How do North American audiences compare to those in Japan?

Ryoichiro: Japanese audiences are a little more quiet compared to the ones in the US. (We don't know about Canada yet!)

How different is recording music to performing it live? Which do you prefer?

R & K: We like them both. But we can get reactions directly from our live audience. In that sense, we like to perform live the best.

Your song "KODO - Inside the Sun Remix" was recently featured in a commercial for the Nintendo Wii. How did that come about? What was your reaction when you first saw the commercial?

Yoshida Brothers - photo by DMG - click for full size Ryoichiro: I never thought that any video game commercial would use the Shamisen sound so it was very interesting for me.

Kenichi: First, I was a little concerned if our music would go well with it. But when I saw the commercial for the first time I thought "It's good!"

Do you have any future projects you can give us a sneak peak at?

R & K: We just finished our upcoming album and it was recorded in Los Angeles for our second time!

What are the Yoshida Brother's dreams for the future?

R & K: 2009 will be our 10th anniversary since we made our debut in Japan. We will keep trying something new, while still keeping the traditions alive!

Do you have a final message to your fans?

R & K: We would like as many people as possible to listen to our live Tsugaru-Shamisen sound. So please come see us when we are in your town!

For more info checkout the Yoshida Brothers' official site and MySpace page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments