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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every Tuesday the Okinawan Heroes YouTube channel will release a new episode from their catalog. They’re currently releasing episodes of the Daichi Man series and are hoping to reach 1,000 subscribers. Please help them reach their goal!
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?
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.
Popular street pianist and YouTuber (1.65M subs) Harami Piano performed at Okinawa’s AEON Mall Okinawa Rycom at the beginning of April and played a medley of songs from Okinawan artists (Amuro Namie, ORANGE RANGE, Natsukawa Rimi, SPEED, Cocco, Kiroro, and MONGOL800).