The hunt for records leads us to some unexpected finds sometimes.
Some years ago, I came across this Japanese Columbia record, in pristine condition. Only kanjis were used on the label. Unable to read them, I assumed it would be all traditionnal music.
One side was marked with an “X” and I started with it. It was (still is, obviously) actually a fine cheerful popular song with orchestra, but not too much of my taste. The other side, in contrary, revealed what I was looking for as a traditional folk song, with female singing, shamisen and drums. I was thrilled. The music was there but the mystery remained. As I stayed as far away as possible of all social networks, I had no one to turn to to help me with it.
I finally found some on Instagram where I recently registred, and got all my answers ! My gratitude to Timogramophone and Worldstylus for their precious help.

Released in August 1951, the tracks have probably been recorded in the spring.
The A side is “Yatton Bushi”, a very famous tune, popularized by Kubo Yukie, who sings here. She’s very popular and this seems to be her best-known recording. Thus this should have been reissued already, probably many times even.

Rec. 08/51
Kubo Yukie “Yatton Bushi” (Mx 212127)

The other side, the one that interests me the most, is “Shin Tosa Bushi”. As opposed as could be the two sides, the band playing here doesn’t seem to have any national notoriety at all. Beside, the players are not presented as “a band” but individually: Tamae, Ki-miha and Pon Konoe (or Pon Ko). Though, these names could be artist names or pseudonyms. If the side keeps some of its secrets, the song remains very powerful nonetheless. This track has most probably not been reissued, as far as my sources can tell.

Rec. 08/51
Tamae / Ki-miha / Pon Konoe “Shin Tosa Bushi” (Mx 212195)

I haven’t collected much “world” 78s so far, but I sympathize with those who do and have hard time getting infos on there Arabic, Chinese, Greek or Russian records !

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