Courtesy of our man in Hokkaido – Sadisco!! we would like to share with you today, the incredible sound of the Oki Dub Ainu Band.
Superstar front man Oki and his group represent the past and future of the indigenous Ainu (human in Ainu) people, originally from the far east of Russia, who settled in Ezochi (now Hokkaido) in the 13th Century. Traditional Ainu culture suffered greatly at the hands of various Japanese rulers over the years; they were forced to assimilate, had their language banned, and were stripped of much of their land until, in the present day, very few examples of traditional Ainu people and culture remain.
Oki and his band bring the sound of Ainu culture and seamlessly blend it with the sounds of ‘world music’, reggae and dub. He wields two Ainu instruments: a five-stringed plucked instrument called a Tonkori and a Mukkuri an idiophone made out of bamboo that is similar in construction to a jaw harp.
It’s a testament to the power of the band and it’s music, that they perform frequently all over Japan, and have taken part in a number of folk music festivals in other countries. Oki also makes incredible artwork, including for his albums, using the dyed goods and traditional patterns of Ainu.
There is literally no stopping this truly ethnic star from Hokkaido, who proves that a ten-gallon hat or mandarin dress, TV show or move to Tokyo is not necessary. Oki is the true rock star of Hokkaido.