Born in Dowa area, Japan, Tom was exposed to social inequality and government oppression from an early age. The Japanese government had been enforcing policies aimed at marginalising the Burakumin (the people who were born in Dowa areas, also referred to as eta – ‘extreme filth’) since 1603. The feudal caste system in Japan ended in 1869. However, cases of social discrimination against residents of buraku areas are still an issue in certain regions.

After seeing Bob Marley’s video ‘Time Will Tell’ as a teenager, Tomo was inspired by the message and started playing Roots Reggae in so-called King David style in early 2000. He has now played in many countries throughout the world including Japan, Australia, Canada, Sweden and New Zealand. 

Tomo plays under the name Redemption Sound. He chose this name to clarify the concept of his music and to differentiate Roots Reggae (Rastafarian music) from Dancehall and the other types.

Tomo says – ‘Sometimes the words Roots Reggae and Dub are used interchangeably. This often arises as people enjoy the music but are unaware of its message and culture. Dub used to be a part of Roots Reggae, but today it is also recognized as its own genre which may be a major cause of this vagueness. A similar situation also occurs when people are unaware of the difference between Roots and Dancehall.’

Tomo has a goal to educate people about the meaning and message behind deep Roots Reggae music. Although everyone is aware of Bob Marley and his major contribution to the Roots Reggae movement, Tomo reminds the massive that the vast number of other Reggae musicians and their contributions should not be overlooked. It is a continuous movement, growing from the ‘roots’ set down by pioneers in the 60s and 70s, including Bob Marley. The message is universal, promoting equality and justice.

With his Asian heritage Tomo hopes to spread this message and show that it can be shared by all, regardless of race, cultural background or creed. No ‘ism and ‘skism!  Tomo wants to get people off the couch, increasing involvement, promoting shows and supporting the Roots movement. ‘Rise up people. As it was in the beginning so shall it be in the end – One love, Rastafari.’

For his Top Ten, Tomo states ‘I don’t want to rank tunes. Instead I recommend these tunes that are released from my brethrens’ labels.’

Respect to Tomo for his Top Ten tunes for February 2012.

– Willi Williams – Throw Down Your Arms (Shiloh Ites Music)
– Viceroys – Give Jah Thanks and Praises (Shiloh Ites Music)
– Icho Candy – Babylon Wanted (Shiloh Ites Music)
– Caribinghi – Never Quit (Daily Productions)
– Dan I Locks – Jah Far I (Lion Youths Music)
– Herb Daily – Brainwash Education (Mad Mac Music)
– Kylesicarius – Tribulation (Roots Tribe)
– Lyrical Benjie – Firm In Jah (Roots Tribe)
– Jah Melodie – Love Fire Burning (Bush & Shadow Records)
– Jah Melodie – Thanks And Praise (Bush & Shadow Records)