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)

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.

Link

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

Recital: Derek Ichiro Shiroma Kenkyusho’s “Uta Gukuru” on 10/28/12!

On Sunday, 28 October 2012, the Okinawan Minyo Kyokai Wakugawa Dojo Derek Ichiro Shiroma Kenkyusho will be holding a recital at the Hawaii Okinawa Center from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM. Tickets will be available after June 1st for US $25.00. The recital will feature special guest performers from Okinawa as well as local performers. For more information, download the save this date flyer.

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)