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.


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)

Seibun Tokuhara, Johnny Ginowan, hirara to perform at the Okinawan Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

We’re just about two weeks away from the 27th annual Okinawan Festival held in Honolulu, Hawaii, and like every year the event features several guest artists/groups from Okinawa. Performing at this year’s event is utasaa (Okinawa folk singer) Seibun Tokuhara, one of the top musicians of Ryūkyū minyou and classical music in Okinawa, ukulele musician Johnny Ginowan who released his latest album “Waserge” on June 25th, and Miyakojima-born beauty (and she sings!) hirara (who looks to be a fan of K-drama).

Johnny Ginowan’s “Que Sera, Sera”

hirara’s “Tsuki ni Negai o” (CM for Kiku no Tsuyu, a brand of awamori from Miyakojima)

hirara & David Ralston in a Kiku no Tsuyu CM jamming to the Miyakojima folk song “Kanikubata”

You’ll be able to catch hirara’s performance on Saturday, September 5th (scheduled for 3 PM)—don’t forget to bring your camera. Johnny Ginowan and Seibun Tokuhara are scheduled to perform at 12 PM as part of the Radio Okinawa show on Sunday (9/6/09).

27th Annual Okinawan Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

Wow, it’s already that time of year? This year HUOA‘s Okinawan Festival, its 27th year, will take place on September 5th and 6th. As always, it’s a great place to learn more about the Okinawan culture (you’ll still need to check-out Karakui.com for your pop culture fix, tho 😛 ) and other neat stuff like the food booths and local entertainment. Both days are filled with awesome line-ups and the bon dance on Saturday night is always a winner.

More info at the festival website: Okinawan Festival.

Mamoru Miyagi’s latest album “Shimakaze” released on 8/20/08

Originally uploaded by tiarehi

Gosh, he was just here and he sounded great, didn’t he? Well, fans of his probably already know that he released a new album on 8/20/08 titled “Shimakaze.” The 12-track album features the single “Yunion (Union) desu kara!” (Image is from photog tiarehi on Flickr from this year’s Okinawan Festival in Hawaii.)

(Via Campus Record Staff blog.)

Enjoy pictures from this year’s Okinawan Festival in Hawaii

So I didn’t live-blog this year’s Okinawan Festival but not to fret, there are pictures up on the Web that’ll make you feel as if you were there IRL.

HonoluluAdvertiser.com (link: http://bit.ly/WpuIF) has a total of seven pics up here—several of the pics featuring Derek Ichiro Shiroma’s group Urizun’s performance on Saturday.

starbulletin.com (link: http://bit.ly/4aVJ8G) has three pics up—one of them with Sara and Stacie who are kutu players from Miyashiro Soho Kai.

And as always, lots of pics are already up on Flickr (link).

Update on the upcoming Okinawan Festival in Hawaii

Gosh, how time flies as the 26th annual Okinawan Festival (Honolulu, Hawaii) begins this weekend. Like every year, we have special guest performers and this year we’ll have a chance to see Yaeyama singer-songwriter Mamoru Miyagi, newcomer Tatsuya Shimabukuro and a band called Tokonatsu Band that I took the time to track down today.

Tokonatsu Band is led by Yasu Nakatsune, who happens to be Tatsuya Shimabukuro’s sanshin teacher. Tatsuya, now 27, began taking sanshin lessons from Yasu 10 years ago and this year marked his solo debut with the album “Tunugi.” (Via ryuQ.)

Tatsuya Shimabukuro to perform in Hawaii’s Okinawan Festival!

I blogged about Tatsuya Shimabukuro’s debut album several months ago and now I’m elated to hear that he’ll be performing at this year’s Okinawan Festival (Honolulu, Hawaii). He’s set to perform on Saturday, August 30, as part of the ROK segment as one of the winners of their Miuta Taisho competition. BBtv has footage (video #3, 島袋辰也 for the song “アーシベイストリート”) of his performance from the competition so go view it and see him shred on his sanshin!