Journey to the heart of Kawachi-Ondo | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

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Journey to the heart of Kawachi-Ondo

The folk-music genre which originated in Osaka is now celebrated by a dedicated museum, which opened last year in a suburb of the city

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A recent business trip to Japan left me with a few days in Osaka to find out more about the lively summer-festival music kawachi-ondo, one of my favourite Japanese roots styles. My mission was simple: pay a visit to the recently opened Kawachi-ondo Museum in Yao City and find some vinyl. 

Contacts: Kawachi-ondo Museum, Osaka Honmachi 7-Chome, 21-14, Family Road shopping district, Yao City, Osaka.

In a column published earlier this year, I wrote about Japanese bon dancing for the summer Bon Odori festival, and that two of the forms, kawachi-ondo and goshu-ondo, had striking similarities to the molam music of northeastern Thailand and Laos. All these styles have their origins in narrative folk song, which means that the lyrical content is often about sagas, history, religion and current events. The way they sing, too, is also similar, as with the predilection for vocal ornamentation through vibrato, sometimes called luk kor in Thai (and kobushi in Japanese).

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