With yours truly being from Hawaii with ties to Okinawa (Japan and China too), it’s really great to see an album that brings both cultures together and Teresa Bright’s latest album “Hawaiinawa” does just that.
From a Honolulu Advertiser interview with the singer (by Derek Paiva):
At the beginning of the project, Bright chose to not read literal translations of the songs. Instead, she found a connection with Hawai’i by studying Okinawan culture, history, geography and music origins. She researched the Okinawan migration to our Islands for sugar plantation work and the songs workers brought with them.
“I found similarities with Hawaiian people,” said Bright. “Okinawans once had their own kingdom and were overthrown. They were fishing people, people of the land, gentle people … just like us.”
When Bright later received very basic English translations of the songs, she discovered other similarities.
“A lot of what they wrote was about their daily lives. The men going out to sea to fish, and the women missing them. A lot of it is about that love. A lot of songs were about flowers.”