Sunday, November 17, 2019


Over the years as I have been (re)discovering Congolese music, I have noticed a cultural connection between Congo and Japan. Years ago when my younger brother was taking martial arts classes he had to learn a whole list of Japanese words and the numbers. My mother (RIP) looking at the list remarked how the Japanese language reminded her a lot of Lingala and how many Congolese names sound Japanese and vice versa. Ever since that conversation I noticed the same but I still didn't know the extent to which that similarities

Before that when I was a kid one of the many records played in our house was Zaiko Langa Langa's Nippon Banzai au Japon album. It never really occured to me until years later that Zaiko Langa Langa was a huge success internationally and had a fanbase in Japan and that Congolese music in general is embraced there.

Since seeing the album cover for Zaiko Langa Langa's Nippon Banzai au Japon I've been curious to find out how popular Congolese music is in Japan. When I heard "Elo" for the first time and realized that a stanza was sung in Japanese my curiosity grew even more. The Japanese influence and love is shown even in the opening theme song of Tambour d'Afrique 'Bakwetu'

My curiosity was satisfied to a degree when I stumbled upon the album 'Bana Kinshasa Bana Japon' by the band Orchestre Yoka Choc du Japon online @
If anyone has any information on this band please feel free to leave comments.
I downloaded their album from (a wonderful collection of world and african music over there. please give them a visit).

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