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Umeko Ando was a Japanese musician and Ainu singer who aimed to preserve traditional Ainu music and culture. She was born in 1932 in Akan, Hokkaido, and became known for her unique vocal style, which blended traditional Ainu throat singing with contemporary sounds. Ando released several albums in her lifetime and collaborated with musicians outside of Japan, including Ryuichi Sakamoto. Her music continues to be celebrated for its role in raising awareness about the Ainu people and their culture. Ando passed away in 2004, but her legacy lives on through her recordings and contributions to preserving Ainu music and traditions.

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