Nakamura Natsuki’s MV for “Mikazuki”

Nakamura Natsuki’s “Mikazuki”

Minyou singer Nakamura Natsuki has a new music video for the cover of Quruli’s “Mikazuki” up on her YouTube channel. The song is from her mini album “Agaritida” and was filmed on Hamahiga-jima. So far, two songs (one of them is “Mikazuki”) from the album have been released internationally so let’s hope that we’ll be able to stream or purchase the entire album one day.

Ganeko Yoriko’s Utahime Livestream on YouTube

It’s crazy times that we’re able to watch a livestream of the amazing Ganeko Yoriko‘s performances at her minyou stage Utahime. I visited there a long time ago with a group and we were invited to do an impromptu live performance on her stage. She’s very gracious and kind so if you’re in Okinawa, be sure to make Utahime one of the top places on your must-visit list. She streams live once a month so be sure to subscribe to her channel.

Miyako Folk Singer Kuniyoshi Genji RIP

Far Side Music’s YouTube Channel

It was announced on May 5th Okinawa time that the great Miyako folk singer Kuniyoshi Genji has passed away at the age of 90 on May 4th. Born on June 10, 1930 on Miyako Island, during his childhood he was known for his love of music. At 35 he decided to make his living as a professional Miyako folk singer and he won the Folk Song Division for NHK’s Nodo Jiman (20th annual Okinawa region). If you’re unfamiliar with Nodo Jiman, it’s like the inspiration to shows like America’s Got Talent. His passing is another great sorrow for our community having lost Oshiro Misako in January of this year. May he RIP.

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!

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.

iTunes: Seijin Noborikawa’s “Noborikawa Seijin Live! ~Just One Night at CAY 2010.8.29~”

Livejustonenight

It’s only available as a partial album, and you can’t buy it in its entirety (meaning you’ll have to buy track by track — yes, silly indeed) but if you were holding out on the latest offering from Respect Record for Seijin Noborikawa, it’s now out on iTunes (link opens iTunes).

So, what’s missing? Disc 1 tracks #16 (“Yatchaagwa/Kaisaree”) and #18 (“Tubaraama/Seigwa no Rokushou Bushi”) and Disc 2 tracks #2 (“Chindara Bushi”/”Manganisutcha”), #8 (“Naakunii”/”Hantabaru”), and #16 (“Yunta Medley”). Yeah, you may be better off buying the CD. So who can we complain to about this? Respect Record?!

Toru Yonaha on YouTube

I’m loving this so much that I want to share this short video of the song “Urazagwaa” featuring Toru Yonaha and Mayumi Yamakawa. Clip is from tadaitsu’s YouTube channel shot at this year’s Koza Terurin Matsuri.

If you can handle the shaky camera work, the next video features Misako Koja and Toru Yonaha singing Koja’s “Warabigami” shot at last year’s Shinjuku Eisa Matsuri. At least the sound quality is pretty decent.

And finally, Toru jamming his “Chatan Meekata” with backup by singer Mika Uchizato.

More videos on YouTube with Toru Yonaha can be found here.