New Music Releases

New singles and albums released in June 2021

Fukuda Yasuyuki’s “-Okinawa wo Wasurenaide-“

2021.06.03 [EP] Fukuda Yasuyuki – Okinawa wo Wasurenaide (Link)

2021.06.15 [Single] Nacil & Johnny Ginowan – Kanpai Okinawa (Indies)

2021.06.23 [Album] Matsubara Tadayuki – Churaumi, Churashima -Ayagu, Miyako no Uta- (Link)

2021.06.23 [Single] Rude-α – Jounetsu no Uta (Link)

2021.06.25 [Single] Nema Ui – Umi Watari (Link)

2021.06.30 [Single] ORANGE RANGE – HEALTH (Link)

Starbucks Okinawa’s Special Limited Frappuccino

Starbucks Okinawa Chinsukou Frappuccino

To celebrate its 25th anniversary of coming to Japan, Starbucks is commemorating it with special Frappuccinos for each prefecture in Japan. Okinawa (#47) gets one made with chinsukou called the Karii Chinsukou Vanilla Caramel Frappuccino. It’s available from June 30th to August 3rd or while supplies last.

The product focuses on the traditional Okinawan confectionery “Chinsuko,” which has been carefully passed down from the Ryukyu dynasty to the present day. With a vanilla flavor base and a gentle taste of milk, put a whole “Chinsuko” with a slightly salty taste and blend it with ice and combine it with caramel sauce. To finish, top with whipped cream and crushed “chinsuko”. The crispy and crushed “Chinsuko”, vanilla flavor, and caramel sauce are intertwined, creating a dessert-like cup with a slightly salty and gentle flavor and a pleasant texture.

So for those outside of Okinawa, if you can get your hands on chinsukou I wonder if it’ll be possible to make your own? Request a vanilla caramel Frap and make your own chinsukou crumbles? 🤔

Rude-α’s New Single

via Twitter

Rapper Rude-α has a new single “Jōnetsu no Uta” released on June 23rd (which happened to also be Irei no Hi). The song will be the theme song to Ryukyu Asahi Broadcasting’s “2021 Sokuhō! ! Mezase Kōshien!” show.

While we wait for its release, check out his catalog on Apple Music. I’m especially fond of “Aijobusoku“, a collab with singer Anly.

25th Ryukyu Festival 2021

via M&I

If there’s one concert you need to go to it’s this one so you’re fortunate if you live in Japan because the 25th Ryukyu Festival 2021 is taking place on October 17th at the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall. The list of performers is incredible.

  • Daiku Tetsuhiro and Daiku Naeko
  • Parsha cluB — my favorite band!
  • Yonaha Tooru and his band
  • Kamiya Chihiro — she has a new album for 2021!
  • and the announcer is Garage Sale — 🤩

Tickets go on sale June 28th! Check the M&I website’s Ryukyu Festival page for more details. I really hope they’ll stream this too.

Kamiya Chihiro Announces Upcoming New Album

It was teased on Twitter but fans all knew that Kamiya Chihiro is working on a new album that follows her 3rd album “Utaui” (which is amazing) released in 2012. The upcoming new album “Utayui” is slated to be released in August and has a total of 10 tracks. Like her previous release, the album will have Ryukyu minyou (folk) songs rearranged as well as original songs. The album jacket is forthcoming.

Keep on top of the latest Kamiya Chihiro news on Twitter and check out her website. 2012’s “Utaui” is available on Apple Music in Lossless!

Turn All Weapons into Instruments

Kina Shoukichi does enka

A recent web article on Hub Okinawa features a story on Kina Shoukichi and the peculiar release of his enka song “Fujisan Japan” — his first single in 39 years! The article discusses his new single as well as the single that started it all, “Haisai Ojisan” written when he was 13 years old. The article makes an interesting take on the single selling 300,000 copies in Okinawa which it compared to selling 30M in Japan and delves into the tragic background of the song and the uncle who inspired it. The article is a great read and comes in two parts. Perfect reading for Irei no Hi.

Okinawa Memorial Day

Today (June 23rd Okinawa time) is our Okinawa Memorial Day (Irei no Hi). 🙏

… During the occupation of Japan, in 1961, Okinawa Memorial Day was made a holiday by the Government of the Ryukyu Islands in order to remember and pray for their family members and relatives who were killed during the Battle of Okinawa. In 1972, when Okinawa was returned to Japan, Okinawa Memorial Day lost its recognition as a holiday, but this was restored by the prefectural government in 1991. In Okinawa, it is treated like one of the Japanese national public holidays.
MONGOL800’s “himeyuri ~Himeyuri no Uta~”

Ryukyu Shimpo sent out a Tweet asking its followers what their recommended songs are for themes of peace and the Battle of Okinawa. I found it interesting that they started off with two that aren’t from Uchinanchu artists but are very famous songs (The Boom’s “Shimauta” and Southern All Stars’s “Heiwa on Ryuka”) nonetheless. It’s definitely an interesting Twitter thread to keep an eye on. (Of course mine is the song above by MONGOL800.)

There’s another Twitter thread started by Tamaki Eriko that’s worth checking out too.

BEGIN’s Uta no Hi Concert 2021

We’re sad that BEGIN’s song festival “Uta no Hi” was postponed due to the pandemic restrictions so instead they’ve gone to YouTube and social media (LINE, Facebook, and Twitter) . For 9 days (started on June 19th) they will have a special stream available from 9PM and will also release videos from their catalog. Each day will feature a song(s) or a special video: For example, “Shimanchu nu Takara” was day one’s special and the band released 8 video clips on YouTube. Looks like they’ve disabled sharing the videos outside of YouTube 😤 so here’s the link to their channel: BEGIN ch.

Check out their website for the “Uta no Hi Concert 2021 Postponement Special” schedule.