We’re so happy to see a return of Shari’s Okinawan FEASTival! This year it’s running from September 1st to the 14th and there’s a lot of food 🍱 and drink 🍺 to be excited about. 😋
From the opening of American Cafe in 1923 to today, there has been over 350 Okinawan owned restaurants in Hawaii. Most of the original restaurants have closed but there is a new generation operating today. In the spirit of Yuimaaru (communities supporting one another, especially in times of need), we are asking the community to help support these local Okinawan owned restaurants. This year, FEASTival is teaming up with the Okinawan Festival! Festival will be virtual this year at okinawanfestival.com on September 4th & 5th.
Be sure to check out the website’s FEASTival Specials page as there are limited time specials that can be pre-ordered. Be sure not to miss the handy text-only timeline version Shari created so you won’t miss out any specials.
With the recent re-releases of Takara Records Store’s in-house labels (Qwotchee Records, Chikuten) it looks like musician Yano Kenji’s back catalog is up next! I tried the link to Apple Music but sadly it’s still not available overseas but hopefully it’s only a matter of time? We can look forward to the album above (“Sanshin Plays Okinawan Songs”) as well as “Sanshin Island Cafe” and “Sakura Songs on Ukulele”.
The video digest is from “Ryukyu Classical Performing Arts Meet the 25 String Koto”, a concert that took place last December featuring top artists from Luchu classical music and dance. It’s interesting hearing the classic songs arranged for the 25 string koto as well as Nakai Tomoya’s original songs and we’re grateful for the English subtitles and translations in the video description section. This is a must watch video if only for the explanation each artist gives for their instrument.
Allison-sensei started her Kucho Girl YouTube channel about a year ago and has a lot of great content in English for those interested in learning more about classical (koten ongaku) and folk (minyou) music from Uchinaa. If you’re not familiar with the word ‘kucho’, Allison-sensei calls it an Okinawan spike fiddle and it’s one of the instruments that accompanies the uta-sanshin along with kutu (zither), fwanso (flute), and teeku (drums). It’s definitely a channel you’ll want to subscribe to.
The EP vol.1 release follows two singles (“Kunubungi Bushi” and “Tinsagu nu Hana”) that were made available a couple of weeks ago by Takara Records Store’s music Qwotchee Records label. Described as “Okinawan traditional music with Hawaiian and Caribbean influences” the Sons of Ailana are singer Shima Sachiko and musician Yano Kenji. Definitely good music to chill with.
It’ll be a virtual festival again this year but we can still show our support by purchasing from the Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s official store shophuoa.com. On Friday, September 3rd at 8 AM Hawaii time, they’ll be selling all new festival merchandise and t-shirts so be sure to set your alarm so you don’t miss out!. They may have already given us a sneak peek at what may be coming with the announcement of the 2021 festival design contest winner.
Welcome to the world of Cocco! We’ve posted about Cocco and her YouTube before but now she’s gone and started a new channel called Cocco Channel. She’s been using the old (but still official?) YouTube channel for her personal vlogs so she’ll probably start posting them to her new one. One thing we can be guaranteed is a deeper dive into Cocco’s world.