Latest Rough Guide Album Includes Uchinānchu Artists

Album Art for The Rough Guide

Recently released Rough Guide series includes songs from Uchinānchu artists as well as performers of Uchinā music. There was also a Rough Guide for the music of Okinawa released in 2006 but it’s only available in CD format at this time.

A wonderfully diverse collection exploring some of Japan’s lesser-known contemporary styles by artists rooted in tradition. From the female divas of the southern Ryukyu islands to the minyo revivalists Boomdigi, Aragehonzi and Tsukudanaka Sanpachi, this is an album full of intrigue and surprises.

https://worldmusic.net/products/rough-guide-to-the-best-japanese-music-youve-never-heard

Currently available on all music streaming services “The Rough Guide to the Best Japanese Music You’ve Never Heard“.

10,000 Eisaa Dancers Online in Virtual Okinawa

Due to the pandemic, most of this year’s eisaa festivities (there were still smaller, downsized local ones here and there) have been canceled. To make up for it, there was a limited time YouTube VOD of the fantastic film “Eisaa Don Don” (extended to 9/30!), a rebroadcast of the Campus Records x Matsuda Kazutoshi’s 2020 eisaa festival, and now we have Virtual Okinawa’s 10,000 eisaa dancers emceed by our favorite VTuber Nema Ui! While it was live-streamed on 9/4 (Uchinaa time), it’s available as an archive for now. Oh, and it’s around 5 and a half hours long!

New HUOA Merch for the Okinawan Festival

It’ll be a virtual festival again this year but we can still show our support by purchasing from the Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s official store shophuoa.com. On Friday, September 3rd at 8 AM Hawaii time, they’ll be selling all new festival merchandise and t-shirts so be sure to set your alarm so you don’t miss out!. They may have already given us a sneak peek at what may be coming with the announcement of the 2021 festival design contest winner.

Live Camera Views in Okinawa

Missing Okinawa and looking for something to waste your time watch on YouTube? Search no further as we’re sharing three live camera views from Okinawa.

  • The first live camera is a view of Kokusai-dori in Naha from the Ryukyu Shimpo building. Link.
  • The second live camera is a view of the underwater observatory “real aquarium” of the Busena Marine Park in Nago from the RBC Channel. Link.
  • The final live camera is a view of Naha Airport (includes sound) from the RBC News channel. Link.

Know of any other live cameras in Okinawa? Share your link in the comments!

Miss Okinawa’s Popular YouTube Channel

Due to the pandemic, the three 39th Miss Okinawa Iwamoto Kana (Sky Blue), Yamazato Hikaru (Cobalt Blue), and Shinzato Mizuki (Clean Green Gracious), looked to YouTube to fulfill their duty of promoting and showcasing many of Okinawa’s businesses and locations. Their work has paid off as they have grown their channel to over 2K subs since starting last June. Their videos feature foods and beverages that are unique to Okinawa (like the bukubukucha video below), visits to various locations on Okinawa, and several cultural activities like learning Ryukyu buyou (dance). They have also hosted livestreams too.

Miss Okinawa makes bukubukucha

With over 100 videos and new ones being released several times a week, there’s a lot to watch and choose from. The timing is also perfect with the next year’s World Uchinanchu Festival coming up. What better way to find out where the most trendy restaurants and locations are to add to your bucket list. Their goal is to reach 10,000 subs so be sure to subscribe (link below).

Miss Okinawa no Okinawa Kankou TV on YouTube

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? 🤔