Hawaii United Okinawa Association Goes YouTube

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!

Event: 3rd Eisa Drum Festival at Kapi’olani Community College on May 11th

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3rd Eisa Drum Festival at Kapi’olani Community College on May 11th
A Celebration of Okinawan Culture with Drums, Lions, Music, and Karate

Kapi’olani Community College and the Office of Student Activities are pleased to present the third Eisa Drum Festival on Saturday, May 11 from 5:30 to 9 pm, on the Great Lawn (center of campus). The outdoor festival brings together ‘ono food prepared by Kapi’olani CC culinary program and the spectacular art form of taiko performed amid the beauty of Diamond Head under the stars. The program begins at 6 pm. The event is free and open to the public, with ample parking on campus.

Performers include Chinagu Eisa Hawai’i, Hawai’i Okinawa Creative Arts, Hawai’i Taiko Kai, Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate and Urizun Minyo Group. This year’s festival also features special guest performers from Okinawa, including Daiichi Hirata, acclaimed producer, choreographer, and musician, as well as members of Requios, the 2012 World Eisa Competition winner.

Eisa is a form of dance and drumming unique to the people of Okinawa. Originally performed as part of a religious function honoring those who have passed, modern Eisa is an exhilarating combination of singing, chanting, dancing and drumming. In Okinawa and Hawai’i, Eisa continues to be performed at Bon Dances. This year’s festival will feature contemporary styles of drumming, with Okinawan taiko, karate, lions, and contemporary folk music.

“The first two festivals have been described as ‘magical’ and we hope to continue that tradition in our third year,” said Shari Tamashiro, Kapi’olani CC Cybrarian, and one of the coordinators of the festival. “We’re also very pleased to have celebrity chef instructor Grant Sato and Kapi’olani CC’s famous culinary program managing the food booths.”

“The bringing together of Island People, Daiichi Hirata from Okinawa and Kawika Napoleon from Hawai’i, was so dynamic. . . it brought forth a sense of joy and pride from within,” said Dorene Niibu of Windard CC.

“When I think of Eisa Fest, I think of it as the first major event of the summer,” said Jonathan Wong, faculty member at Kapi’olani CC. “To me, it signals that summer is here and what better way to start the summer off with a bang than with drums, food, music and stars.”

Enjoy an evening under the stars. Bring lawn chairs to sit on, blankets, and jackets. Up to date information on program, schedule, parking, maps, and food items on sale will be posted at http://www.facebook.com/eisahawaii. Alcohol is strictly prohibited at the event.

To see videos of the 2nd Eisa Festival, go to: http://bit.ly/17quWKz. For photos, go to: http://smu.gs/Z4Mpbj.

Event: Suruti Chibarana -Striving Together-

Maui Okinawa Taiko and Jimpu Kai Maui will have a joint anniversary recital on Sunday, 24 June 2012, at the Baldwin High School Auditorium. The recital, which starts at 2:00pm, celebrates Maui Okinawa Taiko’s 15th anniversary and Jimpu Kai Maui’s 10th anniversary.

Tickets are $12.00 for general admission and $10.00 for seniors 55 and over and children 12 and under. For more information, call the Maui Okinawa Cultural Center at (808) 242-1560.

Download the flyer (JPG, 103 KB)

(h/t Char Gima)

Event: Okinawa Association of America’s Annual Picnic

Joseph Kamiya:

Every year, the organization hosts a picnic in South El Monte, California. We feature live entertainment (sanshin, taiko, odori, martial arts, hula, etc.), games and festivities for children, bento boxes, free shaved ice, great raffle prizes, and our big Bon Dance finale! We also award a few high school students with our annual scholarships.

Okinawa Association of America’s Annual Picnic on Sunday, 8 July 2012, from 11am to 4pm. Takes place at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area #1, 750 South Santa Anita Avenue, South El Monte, CA. Admission is free.

More information can be found on their Facebook page and check out their YouTube channel for videos from their past events.

(via Joseph Kamiya)

Event: 2nd Eisa Drum Festival in Hawaii

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WHAT? 2nd Eisa Drum Festival

WHEN? Saturday, May 12, 2012

TIME? 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm

WHERE? Great Lawn, Kapiolani Community College

Kapiolani Community College and the Office of Student Activities are pleased to announce that the 2nd Eisa Drum Festival will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012 on the Great Lawn at the center of our campus.

Program will begin at 5:30 pm and conclude with a grand finale at 9 pm. Food sales will begin at 5 pm. The event is FREE and open to the public.

WHAT IS EISA? Eisa is a form of dance and drumming unique to Okinawa. The Eisa Drum Festival seeks to celebrate and develop an appreciation for this little known form of drumming in Hawaii. There will be a spectrum of Eisa, ranging from traditional dances to contemporary styles.

WHY IS THIS FESTIVAL SPECIAL? The festival will feature the largest gathering of Eisa drummers in Hawaii, all uniting for a spectacular grand finale. We hope to have over 100 performers all drumming together. There will be a gathering of the Shisa (Okinawan Lion Dogs).

There will also be a special guest performer. The acclaimed artist, choreographer, director, and one of my favorite performers Daiichi Hirata is traveling all the way from Okinawa to participate in Eisa Festival!

Performers include: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Hawaii Eisa Shinyuu Kai, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, and the Young Okinawans of Hawaii with Paranku Clubs of Hawaii, Taiko Center of the Pacific, Urizun Minyo Group, and Kawika Napoleon.

Enjoy live music under the stars. Bring lawn chairs to sit on, blankets, and jackets. Parking is free. Alcohol is strictly prohibited. Parking Map of campus.

FOOD! The majority of the food on sale will be prepared by Chef Grant Sato and Chef Dave Hamada of KCC’s culinary program. Special desserts provided by the KCC Slow Food Club. There will be rafute, kabocha, miso eggplant, special bento, yakisoba, andagi and more! Check out the Okinawan sweet potato bread pudding and “Goya Popper.” Full list of items for sale and descriptions will be posted shortly at www.facebook.com/eisahawaii

Up-to-date information on program, schedule, parking, maps, and food items on sale will be posted at www.facebook.com/eisahawaii

The 1st Eisa Drum Festival was a truly magical event. We were blessed with amazing performances and an incredible crowd. To see videos and photos from the 1st festival, please visit: www.pigsfromthesea.com

(h/t Shari)

Oriental Faddah and Son

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A smile. Whenever I pick up Lee Tonouchi’s Oriental Faddah and Son, I can’t help but smile. The book’s cover is nicely designed and at 152 pages, it should be a fast read (compared to the 925 pages in Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 which I’m also reading) but in reality, it’s not because I often find myself rereading passages like “Why I Hate Teachers Who Nevah Seen Star Wars,” the content of which is both funny and rather sad.

From the Bess Press website:

Oriental Faddah and Son delivers “Da Pidgin Guerrilla’s” most entertaining yet poignant work to date through a combination of lamenting and humorous poems. As you read, you will journey with author Lee A. Tonouchi through childhood and adolescence into adulthood. You will laugh out loud, sometimes cry, and maybe even discover things about yourself along the way. Award winning author Tonouchi delivers a captivating, semi-autobiographical tale through his mastery of the Pidgin language. Tonouchi intricately weaves life’s most basic human elements—love and loss, birth and death—with uncovering the identity of one’s true self. In the “Guerrilla’s” case, it’s the essence of being an Okinawan in Hawaiʻi.

Now is the perfect time to pick up your copy as the Bess Press website has a holiday sale for 40% off (till 12/30/2011) so grab it now!

Tamagusuku Ryu Senjukai Hawaii’s Awamori Fest

Received an email heads up for Tamagusuku Ryu Senjukai Hawaii’s annual Awamori Fest, a benefit fundraiser for their Okinawan dance school (Tamagusuku Ryu Senjukai Frances Nakachi Ryubu Dojo). Here’s the information from the flyer for the event:

The Awamori Fest event is held annually to raise funds for our Okinawan Dance School, Tamagusuku Ryu Senjukai Frances Nakachi Ryubu Dojo. The proceeds from the event will help fund for our future recitals, purchasing costumes and most of all, to provide scholarships for students who are interested in furthering their skills by taking the certification test in Okinawa.

The Awamori Fest will take place on Thursday, 1 December 2011, at the Rumours nightclub in the Ala Moana Hotel, from 6pm to 8pm. The event will feature Okinawan music and dance, a silent auction, activities, and, of course, awamori! Check out the Awamori Fest flyer (Word file) which has more information on purchasing tickets for the event.