It was teased on Twitter but fans all knew that Kamiya Chihiro is working on a new album that follows her 3rd album “Utaui” (which is amazing) released in 2012. The upcoming new album “Utayui” is slated to be released in August and has a total of 10 tracks. Like her previous release, the album will have Ryukyu minyou (folk) songs rearranged as well as original songs. The album jacket is forthcoming.
A recent web article on Hub Okinawa features a story on Kina Shoukichi and the peculiar release of his enka song “Fujisan Japan” — his first single in 39 years! The article discusses his new single as well as the single that started it all, “Haisai Ojisan” written when he was 13 years old. The article makes an interesting take on the single selling 300,000 copies in Okinawa which it compared to selling 30M in Japan and delves into the tragic background of the song and the uncle who inspired it. The article is a great read and comes in two parts. Perfect reading for Irei no Hi.
Okay, so it wasn’t the news of who will be singing the drama’s theme song that we’re waiting for but the announcement of the logo designed by Kosugi Koichi. At this rate, we’ll probably see a new Twitter account for the drama before the theme song is announced. 😂
And, yes! We have two additional Uchinanchu that were announced as cast members for the upcoming NHK asadora “Chimudondon”. You probably noticed that we mention Gori a lot and now we get to mention his Garage Sale partner Kawata Hiroki! You may recall him from “Churasan” so it’s great to see him on this new asadora too (it would be funny if the characters are somehow related but I don’t think that’ll be happening 😂). In “Chimudondon”, Kawata will be playing the role of the master at Sunset Burger so it sounds more of a supporting role.
The other Uchinanchu cast member is radio personality and free-announcer Kyan Hitomi who will be playing the obaa role for the Aragaki family.
So all that remains is the theme song and artist. We’re hoping that it’ll be Anly (from Iejima).
So a funny thing happened. While we were excited to hear about an upcoming NHK Asadora that takes place in Okinawa called “Chimumdondon“, we were also holding our breath to see how the rest of the cast would play out. NHK is slowly rolling out the names of the drama’s cast and when they started off with Nakama Yukie (playing the role of the heroine’s mother Higa Youko) we all breathed a sigh of relief — until the rest of the names (only Yukie is Uchinanchu) was announced 😂. As the cast announced is only of the Higa (heroine’s) family and the theme song’s singer hasn’t been determined yet, we can only hope that we’ll see more Uchinanchu represented in a drama that’s. Set. In. Okinawa.
But, yeah, we know. Ryukyu no Kaze. Churasan. Should we just be happy that there’s a large production (from NHK) that’s filmed in Okinawa and features a few Uchinanchu in its cast and crew?
Tweeted by actor/model Shogen, a 2019 film he stars in called “Okinawan Blue (Kokoro, Odoru)” — written and directed by Kishimoto Tsukasa (remember his name as he’s one to watch) — is available for streaming on Filmdoo.
Also streaming on Filmdoo is 2012’s “Karakara” a Canadian film written and directed by Claude Gagnon and one that I was able to watch at the Hawaii Film Festival. While not as Okinawan (lead actors are not Uchinanchu) as “Okinawan Blue”, at least the music is by one of my favorite musicians, Ara Yukito (Parsha Club).
You can also find other films (some of them are free!) from Okinawa that are (or aren’t yet) available on Filmdoo by creating a filter search on their website. Be sure to vote on the films you want to watch that aren’t yet available in your region!
My Twitter feed exploded with news of Koh Flippin joining the Ryukyu Golden Kings team. The 25 year old 6’2″ Torrance, California native (his mother is from Naha) comes to the Kings from the Chiba Jets and plays guard. I love his tweet announcing his joining the Kings: “Haisai! I’m Koh Flippin. Yutashiku!!”
A comment from Koh on the Kings’s website says “Okinawa is a special place for me that is my roots and and also my identity.”
Speaking of MAX, they’re really on a roll this year with music releases, YouTube, and now an upcoming online concert. “MAX ONLINE LIVE ‘Summer Blast 2021′” will take place on Sunday, July 4th (Japan time) and members of their fan club (J-MAX NEO) have access to an after-talk with an encore song. Unfortunately, there is no archive for the concert so it’s a one-time viewing. Info can be found on their production company’s website.
They’ve been busy with their YouTube channel and now we have word that MAX is releasing their 37th single on July 28th! Their previous single, Parthenon, was released two years ago during the summer and it was an upbeat dance tune. The new single is yet-to-be-named but they’re promising it’ll be a banger to make everyone happy this summer.