November 1st is Luchu History & Culture Day

via Website

November 1st is designated as Luchu History and Culture Day (琉球歴史文化の日) and a special website has been created that has information on workshops and special contests. For the contest portion, the logo mark design has already been decided but there are three other contests that run until the end of the month (9/30 Uchinaa time):

  • Photo & Catchcopy Contest is open to children enrolled in elementary, junior high, high school, and special schools in Uchinaa.
  • Kajadifu Video Contest is open to all Uchinānchu and they’re looking for video performances of “Kajadifu” (YouTubers Ryukatsutyu has a perfect example of this) showcasing the scenery from your part of the world. A special note to add that you will be using their recording of “Kajadifu” that can be downloaded on the contest’s webpage. Even if you don’t participate in the contest, be sure to download the song as it’s an amazing recording by Higa Yasuharu-shinshii (Ryūkyū Koten Ongaku Nomura-ryū Hozonkai).
  • Ryūka Contest looks like it’s open to all Uchinānchu (although it’s not clearly stated) and the rules are simple since it has to be a san-pachi-roku Ryūka and use Shimakutuba.

The bad news? Most of the website (except for the Kajadifu contest page) is only available in Japanese (at this time). So here’s the English translation of the website using Google Translate. Chibariyo to everyone entering the contest and leave a comment if you’re participating.

Ryukyu Renbo Digest (YouTube)

“Ryukyu Renbo”

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.

National Theatre Okinawa’s Promo Video

English Version of National Theatre Okinawa’s Promo Video

The National Theatre Okinawa recently shared promotional videos on their YouTube channel with versions in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean (the latter three are subtitled only). The videos are narrated in English by Yonashiro Sho of the idol pop group JO1.

National Theatre Okinawa’s building, as seen in the video, was built in a style reminiscient of home architecture dating back to the when Okinawa was still the Ryukyu Kingdom. Its walls bend outward at the top, creating shade from sun and rain, and are styled in the form of woven bamboo “chinibu” walling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_-mimOtT9s

National Theatre Okinawa (website link in English) and they just opened a Twitter account (they also have tweets in English too)!

2021 Virtual Okinawan Festival

The Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s (HUOA) popular Okinawan Festival will sadly be virtual again this year but we’re still excited for it. They also have a t-shirt design contest going on that ends July 19th (check out their website for more details). Looks like for this year they’ll even be doing smaller in-person events and we loved the Okinawan FEASTival from last year so it’s great that they’re continuing it. This year it will take place on September 4th and 5th so be sure to subscribe to their YouTube channel to catch the virtual festivities.

We learned a lot in 2020 as we created our first ever Virtual Okinawan Festival. This year, we will continue our virtual format for the continued safety of our community. HUOA will continue to strive to bring you the best our culture has to offer with all the entertainment, singing, dancing, interviews and fun videos from the comfort of your own home. We will also be celebrating Okinawan FEASTival and encourage you to pre-order food from your favorite Okinawan-owned restaurant.  

In an effort to elevate the experience, we will also have a number of drive-through food orders and small in-person events. Be sure to check with your HUOA club and this website for more details.

https://www.okinawanfestival.com

They also have a presale for this year’s festival merchandise at https://shophuoa.com. Presale ends July 24th so don’t miss out!

(h/t JTB USA Honolulu)

“Ghosts Can’t Dance” Web Drama (YouTube)

Scene from “Ghosts Can’t Dance”

Although the 6-episode web drama “Ghosts Can’t Dance (Yūrei wa Odorenai)” was uploaded to YouTube back in March, I finally finished watching it recently and it’s so good (lots of feels)! Anyone with an interest in Ryukyu culture (both pop and traditional) shouldn’t miss this. The web drama is produced by the Kariyushi Geinou Kouen (Traditional Okinawan Performing Arts) and features the original theme song “Don’t forget” by upcoming singer-songwriter Kina Kanon.

YouTube link to the first episode of “Ghosts Can’t Dance”.

@kanasaorganics on Twitter

One of my new Twitter follows, KANASA Co-Operative, is one that shares words and stories from Ryūkyū in English. They also have a website with longer form articles about Ryukyuan culture that’s a great resource to deepen your knowledge. One of my favorite articles is about the hidari-gomon that I see everyday when I pick up my sanshin (it’s on the tiiga). From their website:

Established in 2019, KANASA is a modern co-operative committed to the preservation and awareness raising of Ryukyuan stories, histories and cultures, through creative editorials, art and trade.

https://www.kanasa.co.uk/about/

Follow @kanasaorganics on Twitter. Kanasa website.

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)