Actress Higa Manami has a starring role in Fuji TV’s new drama “My Fair Prince (Oshi no Oojisama)”. The drama also stars Watanabe Keisuke, Dean Fujioka, and Shiraishi Sei. There was an Uchinanchu connection with the first episode as voice actor Nakamura Shugo had a guest appearance.
And, yes! We have two additional Uchinanchu that were announced as cast members for the upcoming NHK asadora “Chimudondon”. You probably noticed that we mention Gori a lot and now we get to mention his Garage Sale partner Kawata Hiroki! You may recall him from “Churasan” so it’s great to see him on this new asadora too (it would be funny if the characters are somehow related but I don’t think that’ll be happening 😂). In “Chimudondon”, Kawata will be playing the role of the master at Sunset Burger so it sounds more of a supporting role.
The other Uchinanchu cast member is radio personality and free-announcer Kyan Hitomi who will be playing the obaa role for the Aragaki family.
So all that remains is the theme song and artist. We’re hoping that it’ll be Anly (from Iejima).
So a funny thing happened. While we were excited to hear about an upcoming NHK Asadora that takes place in Okinawa called “Chimumdondon“, we were also holding our breath to see how the rest of the cast would play out. NHK is slowly rolling out the names of the drama’s cast and when they started off with Nakama Yukie (playing the role of the heroine’s mother Higa Youko) we all breathed a sigh of relief — until the rest of the names (only Yukie is Uchinanchu) was announced 😂. As the cast announced is only of the Higa (heroine’s) family and the theme song’s singer hasn’t been determined yet, we can only hope that we’ll see more Uchinanchu represented in a drama that’s. Set. In. Okinawa.
But, yeah, we know. Ryukyu no Kaze. Churasan. Should we just be happy that there’s a large production (from NHK) that’s filmed in Okinawa and features a few Uchinanchu in its cast and crew?
Speaking of Aragaki Yui’s marriage announcement, she joins a growing list of popular actresses/singers from Okinawa with Uchinaa-muuku (son-in-law of Okinawa) husbands.
2021 Hoshino Gen (actor) to Aragaki Yui
2017 Kamiyama Ryuji (actor) to Chibana Kurara
2016 Inoue Yoshio (actor) to Chinen Rina
2014 Mukai Osamu (actor) to Kuninaka Ryoko
2014 Tanaka Tetsushi (actor) to Nakama Yukie
2012 Oguri Shun (actor) to Yamada Yu
2012 Akanishi Jun (musician) to Kuroki Meisa
2012 Hiro (musician) to Ueto Aya (her mother is from Ishigaki-jima)
1997 Sam (dancer) to Amuro Namie
1979 Shinoyama Kishin (photographer) to Minami Saori
I recall a couple of guys in Okinawa lamenting that all the pretty Okinawan women go to outsiders. For myself, as long as they’re both happy that’s what matters the most.
The pair appeared on the drama The Full-Time Wife Escapist in 2016 (which aired on Hawaii’s Kiku TV) which is interesting as it was about a fake married couple that grew to have true feelings with one another. The tweets from my Okinawa Twitter friends have been very happy and supportive of the news with many using the term Uchinaa-muuku (うちなームーク) which translates to son-in-law of Okinawa. Congratulations Aragaki Yui!
Model and actress Tamashiro Tina will have a voice actress role in Hosoda Mamoru’s 2021 anime feature film BELLE. She will perform the part of Watanabe Ruka, a classmate of the main heroine of the story Suzu (Belle). Below is a tweet from Studio Chizu featuring Tamashiro Tina introducing herself for the role.
I’ve watched every film from Hosoda so I’m really looking forward to this one and now there’s an added bonus with an Uchinanchuu in the cast!
Found about this on Twitter of a live performance of the song Okinawa Samba (from 1980) by Asano Yuko who is perhaps best known as an actress but she began as an idol singer. Upon first discovering the song, I read it as Okinawa Sanba as サンバ is also used for the Ryukyu instrument sanba (三板) so realizing that no one was playing sanba in the video but the music sounded like samba was kind of funny to me.
I also have a thread on Twitter that this post took me in rabbit hole while researching it. Lol.
Aragaki Yui “Gakky” will appear in NHK’s 2022 Taiga Drama Kamakura 13. She will play the role of Yae, who is the main character’s first crush. In her 20+ years as an actress, this marks her first appearance in a Taiga Drama.
Speaking of Taiga dramas, there was one called Ryūkyū no Kaze from 1993 that wasn’t directed by, starred by, or had music composed by anyone from Okinawa. The first actor/actress to appear (in this case star) in a Taiga Drama was Nakama Yukie in 2006’s Kōmyō ga Tsuji, followed by Gackt in 2007’s Fūrin Kazan, and Nikaidō Fumi making an appearance in 2018’s Segodon.
NHK announced its 2022 morning drama (asadora) and it’s an Okinawan series called Chimudondon (ちむどんどん)! The 106th edition of the series follows 2001’s “Churasan (ちゅらさん)” (can you believe it’s 20 years ago?!) as the second asadora with an Okinawan theme. Chimudondon stars Okinawan-born actress Kuroshima Yuina (黒島結菜) and will tell the story of chef Higa Nobuko (比嘉暢子) with Okinawa of the 1960s and beyond as the backdrop. Other than Yuina and Jon Kabira (ジョン・カビラ) who is handling the narrating, the rest of the cast hasn’t been announced yet so there’s hope that we’ll see more actresses and actors from Okinawa. We’re also interested to find out who will be handling the theme song — perhaps Miura Daichi? Kuroshima Yuina will follow in the footsteps of asadora alumni from Okinawa Kuninaka Ryoko (2001’s Churasan) and Higa Manami (2007’s Dondo Hare) both who have gone on to have prosperous careers.
We look forward to hearing more news about Chimudondon and to watching it in 2022.