Exploring Japanese mythology…
Songwriter and singer, performer and novelist of Japanese mythology and folklore, Ekotumi’s approach to music is grounded in an exploration of Japanese mythology, particularly the idea of kami, a Shinto concept which embodies “gods” as elements of the landscape and forces of nature, as well the qualities that these beings express.
Previously, we looked at Ekotumi’s single release ‘A Wingless Country’ (see J-Pop Go review), a gentle, lilting affair that incorporated soundscapes from field recordings across Japan. The Japanese musician also performed live in London to present her traditional Japanese take on mythology in a more engaging enviroment.
Ekotumi’s approach has now led her to launch a multi-lingual website introducing Japanese mythology. The site has been launched in three languages: English, French, and Japanese. The stories that the website showcases are presented in an easy-to-understand manner for people who don’t know Japanese mythology. At the same time, it’s designed to appeal to those that have some grounding in these aspects of Japanese culture as Ekotumi explains: “There are a lot of Japanese gods and goddesses and almost all are not famous”. This means that a great deal of care has been taken in translating names into English and French, which includes incoporating the reading of their names; the meanings from the kanji characters and the interpretation of what they are.
At this point, only the first part of the Kojiki (considered to be the oldest literary work in Japan), the myth of Izanagi-Izanami, is available to the public, but Ekotumi plans to publish more stories in due course – and more languages.