The Bachido Blogcast, Episode 68:

The Japan Expo (plus Anime for Shamisen brainstorm!)

Today, Kakejiku expert Ryosuke Ueda ( and myself (Kyle Abbott, went to the 2013 Japan Expo in Santa Clara. Twas the first animecon I had ever been too. Thus, had never seen so many tights before in my life. At first, it was a little uncomfortable. Physically, as I was carrying my heavier-than-normal shamisen on my back the whole time. Also, it really didn't seem the place that I would be able to sell six copies of Shamisen of Japan. Later on, we discovered the Hougaku section (as I call it) which had a local koto kai, as well as local shakuhachi legend Masayuki Koga.

Later, we ran into Bachido member Xander, who was working one of the booths. He encouraged me to pull out the shamisen to put a little twang in the air.

Afterwards, we had a little discussion about spreading shamisen in the anime world. Basically, anime enthusiasts would probably love to start playing shamisen, as they've heard it in their favorite scenes. However, the connection with the instrument to their favorite medium must first be formed. If you have no interest/connection to minyo, would it motivate you to learn shamisen after hearing it live for the first time? I'm not sure. However! If you are otaku and heard your favorite scenes played live on shamisen? That would be a huge motivator of interest.

Admittedly, I haven't really been into the anime world (though I'm sure is a jolly good world), and so I need your help! Any shamisen enthusiasts who also love anime, please tell me your favorite anime songs/ballads that you'd love to hear on shamisen! With any luck, I'll be able to gather together some musicians and play these songs at such animecons in hopes of rousing up new shamisen players!

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