If you want to learn more about the Koza Uprising, Travis has an amazing Twitter thread.
Sunday marks 50 years since unrest which occurred after a car driven by US military personnel hit a local resident near a US base in Okinawa.
The unrest took place on December 20, 1970, two years before reversion of the southern prefecture from the United States to Japan.
Residents of the area expressed anger by throwing rocks and setting fire to about 80 US military vehicles following the incident in an area called Koza, which is now the city of Okinawa.https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20201220_06/?cid=wohk-tw-org_wnw
While it’s great to see this make national news in Japan, it’s sad that I had to learn of this outside of Okinawa. It’s definitely something none of my relatives in Okinawa — even those that live in Koza — ever talk about.
If you’re looking for an amazing anime to binge on before the year ends, look no further than Carole & Tuesday which is streaming on Netflix (US). It has a great story, great music, and a great message. Voice actor Shimabukuro Miyuri (島袋美由利) from Okinawa voices Carole (singing is done by Nai Br.XX) and although she’s only been active since 2017, her filmography is already impressive. We look forward to seeing (rather, hearing) more of her in 2021!
Chuning Candy is a 5-member idol girl group that formed in 2013 from the CAT’S EYE talent school in Naha Okinawa. They follow history of idol groups from Okinawa that includes Super Monkey’s, MAX, Da Pump, Speed, D&D, and Folder 5.
The members of Chunican are Kotone (琴音), Sophie (ソフィー), Lili (LILI), Yuuri (ゆうり), and Aiko (愛子). The group made their major label debut in 2018 with the single “Dance With Me” and to date have released 6 singles (the one featured above from their YouTube channel is their cover of “Dynamic Ryukyu” (ダイナミック琉球). The have several videos for “Dynamic Ryukyu” and each have amassed more than 1 millions views so it can definitely be thought of as their breakout song.
Follow their official Twitter account link for their latest news.
Add them on Apple Music link
In addition to being a fan of Okinawan music, I also listen to a lot of other music and have been a fan of Imogen Heap and her band with Guy Sigsworth, Frou Frou. In 2019 they released an EP called Shurayo featuring the tracks Shurayo, Shimauta, and Shurayo (Mika’s Version).
So you must be wondering “wait a minute, I see Imogen and Guy, so who is Mika in Mika’s version?” It’s none other than one of Karakui’s favorite minyou artists Uchizato Mika! She shares songwriting credits for Shimauta (so yeah, it’s not a cover of The Boom’s song) and Shurayo. Be sure to add the EP to your collection.
The Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA link) has gone to YouTube to reach out to its community and to the rest of the world. Many of us were saddened that their annual Okinawan Festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic something that performers, volunteers, and visitors look to every Labor Day weekend. This year they went virtual with the festival and have continued on this path with an amazing number of videos (the one above — one of their latest — features the awesome Chinagu Eisa Hawaii group). Most of the videos are prerecorded but they also have a weekly stream called HUOA Yuntaku Live! Be sure to subscribe to their channel!
Maybe weekly, I’ll feature an account on Twitter that’s worth a follow. Today I’m featuring @horinyo (ホリーニョ) from Osaka who tweets colorized black and white photos of Okinawa before and after the war. The photos are amazing and with close to 9,000 of them, you can spend days scrolling through their Twitter feed. Interesting (well, at least to me) is that the account has amassed close to 8,000 followers and I think this is important to note as there are photos that show our devastated island after the war that I hope many outside of Okinawa will learn about. The tweet and photo above is one of the more recent ones originally from June 1945 in the Shuri area. How great would it be to learn that this family survived the war.
Did you know that there’s an Okinawan villager in this game? There’s also an Okinawan song by K.K. Slider. I’ll write about this in an upcoming post. For now, enjoy the CM!
Gosh. Six. Years.
Our last post was 6 years ago at both Tumblr (link) and here at WordPress. Why now? Although I took a break (yep, it was a long break) from writing here, I’ve still been active on Twitter (i.e. on my personal account) and noticed a lot of new voices coming from like-minded people outside of Okinawa — something clicked in me and I felt that now is the time to come back to this space.
I’ll be working on new posts as well as doing much needed housekeeping on the backend. I was also quite pleased to find that no one had claimed my karakui domain in my absence so I’ll have it back to Karakui.com soon.
For those who have stuck around and those new to Okinawan pop culture, nifee and mensore!
Perhaps one of the best media resources for non-Japanese language speakers is NHK World which is available as website and a standalone app for the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Recently they added playlists from their On Demand collection and there’s one for Okinawa!
The playlist (“Okinawa: Hope through Hard Times” link) currently has 5 episodes and the one I want to bring your attention to for its pop culture theme is called “The Sounds of Okinawa: Joy and Prayers for Shuri Castle”. The 45-minute episode features HY, Miyazawa Kazufumi (The Boom), Chuning Candy, i-dushi, Kiiyama Shoten, and KARIYUSHI 58. (I’ll have posts up of a few of the artists who are new to this blog.)
The episodes won’t be available forever so please don’t miss them — especially the music one for fans of Okinawan pop culture.