The “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” boom continues in Japan after the last manga volume was published in Weekly Shonen Jump, followed by the release of the manga in the bookstores on the 4th of December, 2020.

The anime opening Gurenge sung by the Japanese pop artist, LiSA, is one of the most popular songs to be sung at karaoke, and people across the world have been covering it on Youtube.

After seeing the film, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train Arc, I started listening to various people doing covers online.

Reproduced with permission from © Nami Kineie

Many have splendid voices and extraordinary skills; however, among those people, I discovered a unique take on the song and a video that left me speechless at the amount of talent and impressive interpretation.

Reproduced with permission from © Nami Kineie

Reproduced with permission from © Nami Kineie

Reproduced with permission from © Nami Kineie

Kimetsu no Yaiba allowed me to find out about the shamisen master Nami Kineie and other masters of Japanese traditional instruments.

(LiSA's Gurenge cover by Nami Kineie on Shamisen, Takei Makoto on Shinobue/Japanese flute, Miyake Reiko-Koto and Tada Keiko-Taiko/Japanese Drums; arrangement Fukushima Yorihide, and sword performance by Omachi Hiroyuki).

All of them wear beautifully crafted kimonos while gracefully holding the traditional instruments, and after a second of silence, they take you by surprise from the first note.

The way they blend the modern with tradition is breathtaking, and the sound they produce is so soothing, yet so powerful.

The quality of the videos is beyond amazing, and hearing them play in such a harmonious way, made me warm up inside, and a tear rolled down my face after watching their performance.

Reproduced with permission from © Nami Kineie

The Shamisen Master Nami Kineie (杵家 七三) was born in 1956 and is a graduate of the Japanese Music Department of Tokyo University of Arts.

She performed with the classical nagauta shamisen, but also the electric shamisen. She has various experiences from traditional music, musicals to contemporary and band performances full of energy.

Reproduced with permission from © Nami Kineie

Besides being a musician, she also worked as a lecturer and is now teaching the shamisen skills at the Shamisen school Namikai (三味線教室七三会 / Shamisen Kyōshitsu Namikai).

Anyone can participate or apply for a free trial lesson, so if you are interested, you can also check their Official Website Namikai.

You can also find more information about Nami Kineie on her Official Website or purchase her CD “Rhapsody” here.

Here are a couple more of my favorite covers by the masters of Japanese traditional instruments:

By - cinnamonellie.