Cobra Kai & Okinawan Culture Twitter Thread @sherryberry100

I just started watching Cobra Kai (Netflix link) and am still on Season 1 so it’s great to see what develops in future episodes/seasons of the series. Cobra Kai takes place decades after the Karate Kid films (the ones starring Pat Morita as the sensei) so it’s nice to see that it calls back to the Okinawa background of the films: Karate Kid Part II took place in “Okinawa” (it was actually filmed on Oahu, Hawaii) and the Mr. Miyagi character (Pat Morita) is originally from Okinawa. One thing to note is that we’ll have to wait until Season 3 to see guest stars Tamlyn Tomita, Traci Toguchi, and Yuji Okumoto.

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: Washita Ichiman | Our Itoman: Okinawan Songs and Dance

Two shows (2:30 PM and 7:30 PM) on Saturday, 9 June 2012, at the Doris Duke Theatre (Honolulu, Hawaii). Tickets can be purchased online at the Honolulu Museum of Arts’ website:

The cultural heritage of the 500-year-old Okinawan fishing village Itoman comes to life when Ukwanshin Kabudan presents Washita Ichiman: Our Itoman. Tomoko Uehara (lead vocalist for Rinken Band) and dance master Atsuko Tamagusuku (founder of Udui Fukura dance company) make a rare appearance outside Japan to perform the songs and dances of their childhood.


Also check out Tomoko Uehara’s music available on iTunes.

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 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

Website: “Let’s Bon Dance!”

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For all of you bon dance lovers out there, Donna has created a new website for you to keep up-to-date on where the action is at as well as posts that show you what bon dancing is all about through wonderful photos and videos.

It’ll be great to see others in different parts of the world (so far only the Hawaiian Islands are represented) join in on her website so be sure to contact Donna with your information and let’s make this the place to go to on the Web for bon dance info!

Web: The Power of Okinawa

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I’m happy to share John Potter’s wonderful website, The Power of Okinawa. John is the author of the book The Power of Okinawa: Roots Music from the Ryukyus, which I purchased 9 years ago (released in October 2001) and I’m happy to hear that he’s released a 2nd edition which has been “extensively revised, expanded and updated to include new chapters and more interviews with the people involved in making roots music from the Ryukyus.”

The Power of Okinawa website has a link to order the book and he ships worldwide.

In addition to his book, the website’s Features section is an awesome resource containing John’s articles from fRoots magazine. Also be sure to check out his Power of Okinawa blog — I’ve already added it to Google Reader. 🙂