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Okinawa Studies Research Guide: Music

This guide to introduce you to resources on contemporary Okinawan issues.

Prominent Songs in Okinawa Music


大城美佐子 (1962)


前川守賢 (1983)


The BOOM (1992)


りんけんバンド (1990)


喜納昌吉 (1992)


ネーネーズ (1994)


古謝美佐子 (1997)


喜納昌吉&チャンプルーズ (1997)

「Ride on time」

MAX (1998)


Kiroro (1998)

「White Love」

SPEED (1998)


GACKT (1999)



「琉球愛歌 」

MONGOL800 (2000)


BEGIN (2002)




D-51 (2005)

「Think Twice」

Fuzzy Control (2005)

「アンマー 」 

かりゆし58 (2006)



「366日 」

HY (2008)


安室奈美恵 (2016)


Awich (2022)

The Ryukyu Scale

The Ryukyu scale (琉球音階) is a traditional music scale used in Okinawa Prefecture and parts of Kagoshima Prefecture (Okinoerabu Island and Yoron Island).

Common structures used are the pentatonic scale utilizing scale degrees 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, or Do, Mi, Fa, So, Ti, or the hexatonic scale with the addition of the second scale degree, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, or Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, Ti.

Composers of Traditional Music

Intangible Cultural Properties in Music


Recent Acquisitions on Okinawan Music

Okinawa Collection Recent Acquisitions

Check the Okinawa Collection Recent Acquisitions on Okinawan music.

Folk Music and Shin-Min'yō Artists

Okinawan folk music is known for using traditional instruments like sanshin and kokyū. Contemporary Okinawan folk music is called Shin-Min'yō or New Min'yō. Shima Uta is also a term applied to new folk music, but the term is not exclusive to Okinawan music.  

Research Institutes and Music Schools

Okinawan Music Blogs

Open-Access Resources

J-Pop and J-Rock Artists

Contemporary pop and rock artists from Okinawa have made a large impact on the domestic and international music scene. These artists have played a crucial role in the emergence of new genres like Uchinaa-pop, a hybrid of Okinawan folk music and Western music. 

Music and Cultural Festivals

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