Oriental Faddah and Son


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.

Event: “Nuchi du Takara (Life is the Treasure)” in San Francisco, 6/18

Via Shari Tamashiro:

Wesley Ueunten is organizing a free event on Saturday, 06.18 from 2 pm in the Japantown Peace Plaza with musicians, dancers, storytellers. Details are in the attached document (Press Release_Nuchi du Takara.doc).

I’m coming out for a special performance of a storytelling program I researched and produced with Alton Chung, who is one of the best storytellers in the nation. It’s called Life is the Treasure: Okinawan Memories of WWII. I think you’d be interested in hearing the story Pigs from the Sea – about how Hawaii Okinawans raised almost $50k in 1949 (that would be around half a million today) to send 550 pigs from Nebraska to Okinawa so they could rebuild their pig industry in a life-saving gift of aloha. It is an inspiring story about “Yuimaaru,” communities supporting one another, especially in times of need.

Alton is extraordinary – really bringing these powerful stories to life and becoming the characters. He is going to perform on 06.18 from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Buddhist Church of San Francisco at 1881 Pine St. in SF (at Octavia).

Event Info:

Life is the Treasure: Okinawan Memories of WWII is a collection of riveting historical stories of astounding integrity, courage and selflessness. Brought to vivid life by award-winning storyteller Alton Chung, these stories share the experiences of Nisei, Okinawans, and Hawaii Okinawans during WWII. These powerful stories bring to life incredible heroes to inspire and guide a new generation.

(To purchase tickets please call the National Japanese American Historical Society (415) 921-5007 or email njahs@njahs.org. Ticket Prices are: General Admission: $12.00
NJAHS and BCSF member rate: $10.00. Senior and Youth Tickets: $5.00 You also get your tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets Online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/178719)

Fundraiser: Okinawa Minyo Kyokai Derek Ichiro Shiroma Kenkyusho


The Okinawa Minyo Kyokai Derek Ichiro Shiroma Kenkyusho is selling t-shirts as a fundraiser for a recital that they are planning in late 2012. The Chibariyo! t-shirts can be ordered by emailing Derek-sensei at urizun808 [at] aol [dot] com. The sizes available are: Children’s Medium, Adult Small / Medium / Large / XLarge / XX Large / XXX Large and are USD $18.00 each. Derek-sensei said they can mail the shirts to the mainland plus a USPS shipping fee.

I’m really looking forward to the recital next year and I’ve already ordered my shirts! Chibariyo with the fundraiser, Derek-sensei!

Harry Seisho Nakasone

Harry Seisho Nakasone, a Honolulu resident who studied in Japan and became a master of classical Okinawan music, died March 19 in Honolulu. He was 99.

Nakasone was a grand master of classical uta-sanshin, in which the artist sings and plays the three-string instrument that is Okinawa’s version of the shamisen. […]

“He is well-respected even in this day for his (sanshin-playing) ability, technical in a lot of ways, but he was able to balance the technicality of the music with the artistry,” said Norman Kaneshiro, director of Nakasone Seifu Kai, the Moiliili sanshin school Nakasone founded.

Nakasone possessed “a really warm vocal style … tied together all in a seamless, fluid way,” Kaneshiro said. […]

(Via Staradvertiser.com.)