Tokyo Olympics Google Doodle

via Google & STUDIO4℃

Anyone who uses Google has come across their Google Doodles and to commemorate the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, they’ve made their largest interactive doodle and it’s simply amazing. Created with the help of STUDIO4℃ (“Children of the Sea“) and with music by Qumu, a classic 16-bit JRPG game was created that’s filled with bosses to beat (featuring 7 games from the olympics) and many side quests to explore the Doodle Champion Island. The hero ([c]athlete) of the game is a calico cat (mikeneko) named Lucky and as she explores the island we see that there are a few Uchinaa based characters like the kijimunaa (one of the game’s bosses) and shiisaa. On the Kijimuna boss’s (marathon) land you’ll find gajumaru, other kijimunaa and Luchu inspired houses.

Gajumaru (banyan tree), Adan trees, Kurotsugu (dwarf sugar palm), and we’re going to call the other tree our favorite Yaeyama Kuruchi (ebony)
Luchu inspired houses

It would’ve been interesting if Qumu (the game music composer) incorporated Uchinaa instruments/music into the Kijimuna land’s theme but maybe leaving it out was for the best? Another miss is not choosing karate (its origins is in Luchu) as the sport. It’ll take a while to complete the game so if you’re signed into your Google account it should automatically save your progress.

Google Doodles on YouTube

Check out @ainupride’s Twitter thread for a character based on the Kotan-kor-kamuy and the lack of mentioning that it’s from the Ainu mythology.

GACKT GAMEz New YouTube Channel

Speaking of sub-channels and multiple YouTube channels, GACKT recently created a new one showing him playing games called GACKT GAMEz.

The new channel joins his already established channel with 800K+ subscribers, GACKT Channel Gaku-chan. Judging by the number of likes and comments on his tweet announcing the new channel, it looks to be off to a strong start.

Rory (アーサー) the Ryukyuan Villager in Animal Crossing

Rory (アーサー [aasaa] in the Japanese-language version) is a lion jock villager in the Animal Crossing video game fr0m Nintendo (above photos are from the New Horizons version of the game — he first appeared in the New Leaf version of the game) who is Ryukyuan. Playing the English-language version of the game doesn’t give you much aside from what can be seen visually (e.g. Rory looks like a shīsā and his home looks like it could be in Okinawa with the red-tile roof, mangrove wallpaper, shīsā, and tropical setting) and perhaps you may catch what sounds like kāchāshī playing from his house radio — more on this in a second.

On the other hand, the Japanese-language version all but spells it out for you starting with his name アーサー aasaa (a play on shiisaa although it’s translated as Arthur), his catchphrase is ナハッ (Naha! and in English it’s capital — as in Naha is the capital of Okinawa), his quote is なんくるないさ (nankurunaisa and in English it’s set ’em up and knock ’em down), and his favorite song (the one playing from his house radio) is ハイサイけけ (haisai keke and in English it’s called K.K. Faire) — more on this below.

K.K. Faire (ハイサイけけ)

Hearing this song (link to a sample of the song on YouTube) for the first time and realizing what it was, I was like: “Wait, is that an Okinawan song?!” I had to quickly DuckDuckGo it to find out more and the first thing was that it was called “K.K. Faire” (like, what?) but looking at the album art and its Japanese title「ハイサイけけ」”Haisai Keke” confirmed that it was indeed an Okinawan song. I feel that the album’s cover art and the song style is a tribute to 登川誠仁 Noborikawa Seijin. Speaking of the album art, if you’re familiar with the 三線 sanshin, you’ll notice that it’s depicted with four karakui instead of the normal three (although four to five strings can be found on the くーちょー kuuchoo and there is a 6-string sanshin called a rokushin) and the bachi (plectrum) K.K. is holding is in the Japanese style. (Image via Nookipedia.)

The Search for Rory

So if you want Rory to live on your island right away (as opposed to hopefully having him at your campsite or going villager hunting), you’re in luck as he has an amiibo card (Series 4, #352). What’s probably luckier for us is that he’s not a popular villager (i.e. he doesn’t rate high on a tier list — yep, there’s a tier list) so his amiibo can be found on eBay for a couple of dollars (popular amiibo cards can be found for close to $100 USD!). If you’re able to have him live on your island, make sure to have K.K. Faire playing on one of your outside music players as it’s super cute to see him singing along to it. (Image via Nintendo.)

Other Okinawa-related things to note for Animal Crossing. A bingata 紅型 dress can be purchased at Able Sisters and the paper kite butterfly オオゴマダラ (can be found all year on both hemispheres) is the official butterfly of Okinawa. If you’re lucky, you may find K.K. Faire for sale at Nook Shopping or better yet, you can get a free copy from K.K. himself by requesting the song. Leave a comment if you’ve found anything else related to Okinawa and be sure to leave your island’s dream address and I’ll definitely pay a visit!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons New CM Features Aragaki Yui

Being a big fan of this game, it’s with great pleasure to see the latest CM (from the Japanese version of the game あつまれ どうぶつの森) feature Aragaki Yui!

Did you know that there’s an Okinawan villager in this game? There’s also an Okinawan song by K.K. Slider. I’ll write about this in an upcoming post. For now, enjoy the CM!