[ Chinese ]


Here Comes The Bear


Art Designer¡GShout Visual Studio
Illustrations¡GChiu Lolang

Music Type¡JWorld Music
Language¡JAinu , English
Producer¡JOKI KANO
Price¡GNTD 350


Official Web

CHIKAR STUDIO *OKI Official Web Site...Japanese Only


Listening / Program


Yaikatekara Dub


My Island Home



Matnaw Rera  *FLASH



Kane Ren Ren Dub


Kai Kai As to



Iso kaari Irekte



To Kito Ran Ran



Koshi Turiri






Retah Chiri Haw






Karafuto Bay



Oki's music springs from an ancient well. The son of a Japanese woman and an Ainu (the indigenous people of Japan) father, he has embraced his traditional heritage, which he only learned of in his mid-twenties. "When I realized the origin of my blood, I knew this blood was going to be burning," says Oki, "but first I had to find out how to make it burn". He found the match to set it alight in the tonkori, the traditional stringed instrument of the Karafuto Ainu, which he had to learn to play by listening to old recordings, as there were no living tonkori players left. Oki has single-handedly revived this instrument, which in traditional Ainu culture was used to communicate with spirits, to hypnotize enemies, and even to seduce lovers. Oki has been called the modern voice of the Ainu, his unique musical approach, which blends traditional Ainu folk melodies with contemporary styles like reggae, African sounds, jazz, and electronic music, has won acclaim not only in Japan, but around the world.

This album collects various tunes from Oki's previous releases, giving the listener an excellent insight into Oki's music and the mesmerizing sounds of the tonkori. Included are collaborations with the late Umeko Ando, a master of traditional Ainu chanting and singing, and Japanese sax and clarinet player Kazutoki Umezu. Umeko appears on ¡¥¡¦Isokaari Irekte,¡¦¡¦ on which Oki's tonkori evokes the sound of a bear pacing in a cage. Aside from Umeko, the album features vocals from Oki¡¦s wife Rekpo and Oki himself, as well as several instrumental tunes, such as the jazzy "To Kito Ran Ran." This album is a great way to hear how Oki has successfully brought the ancient music of the Ainu into the modern age.




The Ancient Music Of The Ainu Into The Modern Age.  From Ainu (The Indigenous People of Hokkaido Japan)

OKI was born to a Japanese mother and an Ainu father.

After graduating in crafts at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, he moved to New York in 1987, where he worked as special effects artist on film productions.

He returned to Japan in 1992, and was presented with his first tonkori - the traditional stringed instrument of the Karafuto Ainu. Originating from the Sakhalin Island, the instrument inspired him to relocate to Hokkaido, where he taught himself to play and craft the tonkori.

Currently, OKI is the most prominent performer of this instrument in the world. His contemporary approach, which fuses Reggae, African and Electronica with Ainu folk melodies, has won praise not only in Japan, but also worldwide.

Through his active participation in the United Nations' Working Group on Indigenous Populations (WGIP), OKI has developed a network with other indigenous artists. He has collaborated so far with the well-known Native American Flutist, R. Carlos Nakai, the Australian Aboriginal band, Waak Waak Jungi, the Taiwanese singer-songwriter, Pau-Dull (Chien-Nien), as well as Abe Barreto Soares, the East Timorese poet, and the Siberian vocalist, Olga Letykai Csonka. Many of these collaborations are featured on his latest album, No-One's Land, released in 2002.

OKI is accredited as the producer for the widely acclaimed CDs Ihunke (2001) and Upopo Sanke (2003), both featuring Umeko Ando, the renowned Ainu performer of the mukkuri (Jew's harp) and upopo (traditional chanting).

In 2004, OKI toured throughout the US, as well as performing at WOMAD in Australia, with his band OKI & the Far East Band.


Developed on the northern island of Karafuto (Sakhalin), the tonkuri is the only stringed instrument in the Ainu musical tradition.

It is a long, flat instrument, which produces mysterious overtones. These tones are the result of its thin body allowing for sound to reverberate strongly within. The instrument's soundboard is unfretted, and traditionally only the open pitches of the 3-5 strings are sounded, so it cannot be adapted for choral harmony. The limited pitches require the player to rely on rhythmic variations to sustain interest. The resulting sound is clearly distinct from Western and traditional Japanese music.


World TCM Series


Takaya And Tau Band



Bobin and the mantra

Soul Rhythm

* Nepal



Urizun Restaurant


[P] 2005 Chikar Studio , Japan. 
[C] 2005 TCM -Taiwan Colors Music Co., Ltd. Taiwan