66th All-Island Eisa Festival Canceled

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.

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)

Contest to Compose the Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival Theme Song

You have until August 13 (Okinawa time) to submit your theme song for the Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival next year. Visit their website’s page for the contest guidelines but one that stood out is that the theme song must have lyrics in Japanese so sadly no instrumentals. Here are the theme song contest details:

In order to welcome Uchinānchu from around the world who will be participating in the festival, we are looking for a theme song that will enliven the festival pre-events and events promoting exchange with the citizens of Okinawa Prefecture.
Please submit a theme song that will fit perfectly with the Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival.
・The length of the song should be no longer than five minutes, the lyrics should be in Japanese, and should not exceed three verses.
・The theme song should be one that makes listeners imagine the Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival and the charm of Okinawa.

https://wuf2022.com/en/topics/948

The prize for the winning theme song is a certificate and 300,000 yen (currently around US $2,700).

Starbucks Okinawa’s Special Limited Frappuccino

Starbucks Okinawa Chinsukou Frappuccino

To celebrate its 25th anniversary of coming to Japan, Starbucks is commemorating it with special Frappuccinos for each prefecture in Japan. Okinawa (#47) gets one made with chinsukou called the Karii Chinsukou Vanilla Caramel Frappuccino. It’s available from June 30th to August 3rd or while supplies last.

The product focuses on the traditional Okinawan confectionery “Chinsuko,” which has been carefully passed down from the Ryukyu dynasty to the present day. With a vanilla flavor base and a gentle taste of milk, put a whole “Chinsuko” with a slightly salty taste and blend it with ice and combine it with caramel sauce. To finish, top with whipped cream and crushed “chinsuko”. The crispy and crushed “Chinsuko”, vanilla flavor, and caramel sauce are intertwined, creating a dessert-like cup with a slightly salty and gentle flavor and a pleasant texture.

https://www.starbucks.co.jp/cafe/jimoto_frappuccino/okinawa/

So for those outside of Okinawa, if you can get your hands on chinsukou I wonder if it’ll be possible to make your own? Request a vanilla caramel Frap and make your own chinsukou crumbles? 🤔

NHK’s 2022 Asadora “Chimudondon” Announces New Cast Members for the Higa Family

via Twitter

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?

Hawaii’s KIKU-TV RIP

You may have heard a rumor that KIKU will stop airing Japanese and Filipino programming soon.

Unfortunately, the rumor is true.

Starting Monday, June 28, 2021, KIKU and other stations owned by RNN National, LLC will air ShopHQ 24/7.

via the station’s FB page

Definitely sad news to hear that KIKU-TV will no longer show Asian programming. The station brought us NHK’s Red & White Song Festival every year (well, up to 2019’s edition of the show) as well as NHK’s Taiga drama (probably how many saw Ryukyu no Kaze — yes, in spite of how Japanese it was). There was a time when they also broadcasted Okinawa’s folk music red & white song festival (Shinshun Minyou Kouhaku Uta-gassen). The channel will definitely be missed.

RED SOUL’s Three New Singles

Hip-hop group RED SOUL (from Kadena 🤗) released three new singles on June 2nd. The singles are Noguni Sokan, FAIYĀ, and MY DREAM, and they have the full version of FAIYĀ up on their YouTube channel.

I hope they’ll have a video up of Noguni Sokan which is the single I’m most interested in listening to the lyrics of.

Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park

via Murasaki Mura

From May 23rd to June 30th 2021, Murasaki Mura is offering free admission to its Ryukyu Kingdom theme park while actually being temporarily closed due to the emergency declaration for Okinawa. Sounds like a great opportunity for picture-taking like @Okinawanderer.