Friends from childhood on the Okinawan island of Ishigaki, Aizato Rio (guitar) and Ishigaki Yuu (sanshin) left home for music programs in Osaka after high school. Brought back together by homesickness for Okinawa and its music, the pair combined as Yanawaraba (their name translates roughly as "mischievous little kid") in a pop format using Okinawan lyrics, an unknown element in mainstream J-pop. Local success of the pair led to greater recognition and a major-label contract, culminating in the release of mini-album Aoi Takara in 2004. Forthcoming singles went into heavy rotation on J-pop outlets and were used as anime themes, eventually leading to high Oricon chart positions for 2007's full-length debut, Uta Gusui. ~ Adam Greenberg, Rovi