Shirafu Evolve From Wagakki Band As Musicians Go Folksy


Recently, the Wagakki Band announced an indefinite hiatus of activities for the traditional Japanese fusion rock group. Yet, that announcement is only part of the musical journey for two of the members. Shamisen player Beni Ninagawa and guitarist Shin “Machiya” Oumura formed a two-piece folk unit and will continue touring as Shirafu.

Through this endeavor, Shirafu explores new interpretations of traditional Japanese folk songs. While Beni sings lead vocals and plays the three-stringed Japanese instrument, Tsugaru-shamisen; Machiya plays an acoustic guitar and sings backing vocals. Starting last year, they performed in various venues across Japan.

In their debut, Beni and Machiya composed the instrumental song Lycoris as their first collaboration.

Continuing from that initial release, they created two demo EPs. The first one, And Then Everyone Was Gone. [そしてみんないなくなった。] is available on the MORGUE MUSIC GALLERY YouTube channel. Then the follow-up EP, DONA DONA [ドナドナ], is also uploaded to the same channel.

Yet, individually, Beni Ninagawa posts travel vlogs on her YouTube channel along with Machiya when they are trekking between concerts. In the latest video, they have a joyful conversation after nearly 50 shows performing as Shirafu in less than four months while also keeping up activities with the Wagakki Band!

Their recent tour stop was in Tokyo for a final show on their current tour. Fortunately, they will have more time in the future now that the Wagakki Band will be on indefinite hiatus at the end of this year.

Let us know if you are a fan of Japanese folk music on the GAIJIN GUYS Discord. Or, if you are a fan of the Wagakki Band, then support their musicians and give Shirafu a listen!

Beni Ninagawa


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