Toguchi Masanobu

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Monument for Toguchi's song "Shima Blues" in Tatsugô-chô, Amami Ôshima
  • Born: 1916
  • Japanese: 渡久地 政信 (Toguchi Masanobu)

Toguchi Masanobu was a notable songwriter from Amami Ôshima.

Born in Onna village on Okinawa Island in 1916, Masanobu moved to Amami in 1921 and grew up there. After serving in the military for a time, he graduated from the arts division of Nihon University in 1951, and began his career as a songwriter. Toguchi wrote a great many kayôkyoku ("pop") songs which became quite famous and popular either at that time or in later years, including Shanghai kaeri no Riru, Tokyo Anna, Nagasaki Blues, Shima Blues, Yogiri ni kieta Chako, and Otomi-san.

Many of his songs are said to include some element or sense of Amami folk music or "Kuroshio rhythms." The song Shima Blues, in particular, became a great hit all across Japan, and was said to evoke nostalgic feelings for the islands. Singer Misawa Akemi won "Best New Artist" at the Japan Record Awards in 1963 for the song.

A monument for "Shima Blues" was erected in Tatsugô-chô on Amami Ôshima in 2002; a button on the monument plays a recording of the song.


  • Plaque on "Shima Blues" monument, Tatsugô, Amami.[1]

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