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)

Hawaii United Okinawa Association Goes YouTube

The Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA link) has gone to YouTube to reach out to its community and to the rest of the world. Many of us were saddened that their annual Okinawan Festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic something that performers, volunteers, and visitors look to every Labor Day weekend. This year they went virtual with the festival and have continued on this path with an amazing number of videos (the one above — one of their latest — features the awesome Chinagu Eisa Hawaii group). Most of the videos are prerecorded but they also have a weekly stream called HUOA Yuntaku Live! Be sure to subscribe to their channel!

Event: Sennin no Sanshin (Hawaii)

Okinawan musical instrument, Sanshin players can be a part of the 17th Honolulu Festival Grand Parade!

The grand marshal will be Sanshin Master Choichi Terukina-sensei, a National Living Treasure of Japan. Let’s join the parade with Terukina-sensei and play his composition “Mensore.”

The goal of SENNIN NO SANSHIN Project is to have as many sanshin players as possible to participate in this parade.

We want 1,000 sanshin players from Hawaii, mainland USA and Okinawa! […]

(Via Honolulu Festival.)

The awesome thing? They’re serious about having anyone with a sanshin join in by making available the music and kunkunshi of the song. You’ll find them here along with video tutorials. Way to go, guys! (How about having the video available in other formats besides WMV too? People on smartphones will thank you for it.)

Event: Tobe! Uta Sanshin 2010 in Hawaii

Tobe! Uta Sanshin 2010 in Hawaii charity concert for Hawaii Okinawa Center’s 20th anniversary. Concert takes place on Monday, March 29th at 7:00 PM. From the HUOA website:

We are pleased to announce that Terukina Sensei has chosen the Hawaii Okinawa Center to be the site of his 2010 Tobe Uta-sanshin in Hawaii! We are further humbled by his generosity to hold this concert to raise funds for the commemoration of the HOC’s 20th anniversary this year. The net proceeds of ticket sales for this concert will benefit the HUOA. Their donation will be designated for the Repair and Maintenance of our 20 year old Hawaii Okinawa Center. Terukina Sensei is coordinating the program for this engagement with his Hawaii Chapter President, Grant Sandaa Murata Sensei. The program will feature the Chapter’s members from Oahu many of whom have studied directly under Terukina Sensei and successfully competed and attained various awards in Okinawa.

Ticket information can be found on HUOA’s website: http://j.mp/d1czzn.

Download the flyer (PDF) here.

Seibun Tokuhara, Johnny Ginowan, hirara to perform at the Okinawan Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

We’re just about two weeks away from the 27th annual Okinawan Festival held in Honolulu, Hawaii, and like every year the event features several guest artists/groups from Okinawa. Performing at this year’s event is utasaa (Okinawa folk singer) Seibun Tokuhara, one of the top musicians of Ryūkyū minyou and classical music in Okinawa, ukulele musician Johnny Ginowan who released his latest album “Waserge” on June 25th, and Miyakojima-born beauty (and she sings!) hirara (who looks to be a fan of K-drama).

Johnny Ginowan’s “Que Sera, Sera”

hirara’s “Tsuki ni Negai o” (CM for Kiku no Tsuyu, a brand of awamori from Miyakojima)

hirara & David Ralston in a Kiku no Tsuyu CM jamming to the Miyakojima folk song “Kanikubata”

You’ll be able to catch hirara’s performance on Saturday, September 5th (scheduled for 3 PM)—don’t forget to bring your camera. Johnny Ginowan and Seibun Tokuhara are scheduled to perform at 12 PM as part of the Radio Okinawa show on Sunday (9/6/09).

27th Annual Okinawan Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

Wow, it’s already that time of year? This year HUOA‘s Okinawan Festival, its 27th year, will take place on September 5th and 6th. As always, it’s a great place to learn more about the Okinawan culture (you’ll still need to check-out Karakui.com for your pop culture fix, tho 😛 ) and other neat stuff like the food booths and local entertainment. Both days are filled with awesome line-ups and the bon dance on Saturday night is always a winner.

More info at the festival website: Okinawan Festival.