The new logo and slogan for next year’s Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival have been revealed! The winning logo is by Chinen Hitoshi from Urasoe City which he describes as “This work expresses the shapes of Uchinānchu active inside and outside of the Prefecture, and overseas, gathering in their homeland of Okinawa and dancing with joy. The colorful colors create the image of the many colors of national flags from around the world and people enjoying the festival.”
“The Uchinā Shinka, Now is the Time for us to Connect to the World” is the winning slogan by Maeshiro Kanae of Naha City which she describes as “The word Shinka means Nakama ‘friends’ in the Okinawan dialect, and that the Shinka who form the Worldwide Uchinā Network are its true value. I included the message that now is the time during the COVID-19 to connect with other people, and that through the Uchinānchu Festival, Shinka around the world can connect with each other and develop further.” (And yes, the word dialect (Okinawa no hougen) was used instead of our language (Uchināguchi). Sigh.)
They received a total of 129 logo entries and 311 slogan entries from overseas, Uchinā, and Yamatu. Next up is the announcement for the Theme Song Contest (we’re excited about this one!) and the Art Contest.
We’re so happy to see a return of Shari’s Okinawan FEASTival! This year it’s running from September 1st to the 14th and there’s a lot of food 🍱 and drink 🍺 to be excited about. 😋
From the opening of American Cafe in 1923 to today, there has been over 350 Okinawan owned restaurants in Hawaii. Most of the original restaurants have closed but there is a new generation operating today. In the spirit of Yuimaaru (communities supporting one another, especially in times of need), we are asking the community to help support these local Okinawan owned restaurants. This year, FEASTival is teaming up with the Okinawan Festival! Festival will be virtual this year at okinawanfestival.com on September 4th & 5th.
Be sure to check out the website’s FEASTival Specials page as there are limited time specials that can be pre-ordered. Be sure not to miss the handy text-only timeline version Shari created so you won’t miss out any specials.
It’ll be a virtual festival again this year but we can still show our support by purchasing from the Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s official store shophuoa.com. On Friday, September 3rd at 8 AM Hawaii time, they’ll be selling all new festival merchandise and t-shirts so be sure to set your alarm so you don’t miss out!. They may have already given us a sneak peek at what may be coming with the announcement of the 2021 festival design contest winner.
It was scheduled to take place on August 28 to 29 so many of us were happy to see the festival back on-track but on July 21 the organizers have decided to cancel it due to the pandemic. It’s sad to see it canceled again but it’s for everyone’s safety as the organizers felt that it would be difficult to take preventative measures. https://www.zentoeisa.com/news/21-151500.html
In the meantime, the film “Eisa Don Don” is still available for VOD on YouTube until August 31.
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.
We’re sad that BEGIN’s song festival “Uta no Hi” was postponed due to the pandemic restrictions so instead they’ve gone to YouTube and social media (LINE, Facebook, and Twitter) . For 9 days (started on June 19th) they will have a special stream available from 9PM and will also release videos from their catalog. Each day will feature a song(s) or a special video: For example, “Shimanchu nu Takara” was day one’s special and the band released 8 video clips on YouTube. Looks like they’ve disabled sharing the videos outside of YouTube 😤 so here’s the link to their channel: BEGIN ch.
Check out their website for the “Uta no Hi Concert 2021 Postponement Special” schedule.
No, we’re not getting a film from Okinawa but we do have an actor from Okinawa who is starring in director Yoshida Kota’s Sexual Drive. Fashion model and actor Shogen stars in the film and many may recognize him as Raye Penber from the 2015 Death Note TV series. He has an impressive filmography and is currently in the Philippines to finish filming Gensan Punch.
A Japanese triptych about sex, aphrodisiac foods and secret desires.
The 7th World Uchinanchu Festival has a date set! It will take place in 2022 from October 31st to November 3rd (note the website counts October 30th as the Festival eve).
The “World Uchinanchu Festival” honors the achievements of Okinawan people from all over the world, recognises the great value of the community heritage of Okinawa , and seeks to expand and develop the Uchina network through exchanges with Okinawan citizens around the world. The purpose is to bring people together, reaffirm their roots and identity, and thereby be able to pass them on to the next generation.
The festival is sponsored by the Uchinanchu Festival Executive Committee of the world, which is organized by Okinawa Prefecture and related organizations, and has been held approximately once every five years since the first festival in 1990 (Heisei 2). It has been held 6 times so far.
JTB has a newsletter you can sign up to for tour package information. They will have escorted group tours and are also able to help you plan for individual travel packages too. Check out their link for more details.