Champuru featured on Channel808’s bon dance video

I was recently interviewed by Melissa Chang of Nonstop Honolulu / Hawaii IRL to talk about bon dancing. David, president of the Young Okinawans of Hawaii, and I had a great time chatting with Melissa. Enjoy!

There are a couple of videos up so be sure to check out Channel808’s YouTube channel.

And so marks the beginning of Hawaii’s bon dance season. 🙂

An Evening of Japanese and Okinawan Music and Dance – Hawaii

From the flyer:

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa · College of Arts & Humanities · Music Department presents

An Evening of Japanese and Okinawan Music and Dance

Saturday, October 17, 2009
7:30 p.m., Orvis Auditorium
$12 general admission, $8 students & seniors @ the door

A recital featuring instructors from UH Manoa’s ethnomusicology and dance programs, including:

Rev. Masatoshi Shamoto (gagaku)
Onoe Kikunobu (Japanese dance)
Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone (Okinawan dance)
Robert Herr (shakuhachi)
Darin Miyashiro (koto)
Norman Kaneshiro (Okinawan sanshin)

The concert includes traditional gagaku and bugaku, dances choreographed to classic koto/shamisen music, Okinawan classic and folk numbers, and a contemporary koto/shakuhachi duet.

(Nifee deebitan to Char for the info!)

[Updated] “The trends and directions of Okinawan studies in Hawaii” by Mamoru Akamine

[Updated: Room has been changed to #2118.]

September 25, 2009

“The trends and directions of Okinawan studies in Hawaii” by Professor Mamoru Akamine of the University of the Ryukyus.

The noon seminar will be held at John A. Burns Hall Rm. 3012 2118, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

(Nifee deebitan to Char for the info!)

COS Lecture Series 10/1/09 & 10/2/09

Professor Masahide Ishihara will be our first speaker with two different presentation on October 1st and 2nd. Both presentation will be held in the Tokioka Room (Moore Hall 319) at 3:00 pm. Professor Ishihara is a linguist at the University of the Ryukyus. More information on his talk to follow in the coming weeks.

October 1, 2009

“Two Sides of the Coin: Change in Language Attitudes Toward the Ryukyuan Languages”

October 2, 2009

“America’s English Language Policy in Occupied Okinawa and the Reactions of the People of Okinawa”

Link: Center for Okinawan Studies Lecture Series

(Nifee deebitan to Char for the info.)

Chimugukuru: A Celebration of the Heart, Soul and Spirit of Hawaii’s Okinawan Community


Come join us for Chimugukuru: A Celebration of the Heart, Soul and Spirit of Hawaii’s Okinawan Community (featuring storyteller Alton Chung) on Saturday, October 24th at the Hawaii Okinawa Center. 100% of proceeds from this celebration support the Hawaii United Okinawan Association and Ikuyu Madin (HUOA Capital Campaign). The event runs from 1 pm to 9 pm, headlined by two special storytelling programs. Join us for some or all of the special events planned for the day.

Uchinanchu, come learn about your heritage and explore what it means to be Okinawan. Uchinanchu-at-Heart, come learn about Okinawa and become a part of the Hawaii Okinawa community.


Doors open at Noon for open seating for General Admission ($20) and Reserved Section ($30) tickets. Platinum tickets ($100) guarantees a reserved seat in the front section, a parking stall at the HOC and $70 tax-deduction. There are a limited number of these tickets and they’re selling fast!

Tickets for just the Obake Tales ($5) are also available. Entry allowed from 4:30 pm.

We are expecting a sold out performance, so buy your tickets now! Tickets will be on sale at the Okinawan Festival in the Capital Campaign Tent and the HOC.


Nuchi du Takara (1:00 pm-3:30 pm)
Stories are important. They have the capacity to reflect, unite and mobilize a community. They can inspire and they can teach. Nuchi du Takara tells five riveting historical stories of astounding integrity, courage and selflessness. Performed by award-winning storyteller Alton Chung, the stories share the experiences of Okinawans and Hawaii Okinawans during WWII.

Also featuring: Frances Nakachi (Tamagusuku Ryu Senjukai Frances Nakachi Ryubu Dojo) and Derek Ichiro Shiroma (Okinawa Minyo Kyokai Derek Ichiro Shiroma Kenkyusho).

Nuchi du Takara brings to life important stories that define our community, exemplifying the attitudes, values and heart that make being a part of this community special.

These historically accurate stories bridge the past to the present and bring to life incredible heroes to inspire and guide a new generation. These are the stories we need to pass down to our children and grandchildren.


Cultural Events, Activities & Talk Story (3:30 pm-6:45 pm)
A continuous series of events are scheduled, including:

  • Sanshin, taiko and dance performances
  • Hairiest legs, Okinawan whistling and uchinaguchi challenge contests
  • Demos of Kachashi and Okinawan whistling
  • Alton Chung will perform Voices: Takejiro Higa’s Story from his Okage Sama de program
  • There will be a host of short lectures
  • Food: Bake sale, Andagi! and a variety of food booths


Obake Tales (7 pm)
Just in time for Halloween, Alton Chung will regale us with haunting Okinawan, Japanese and Hawaiian ghost stories.


Visit for updates and additional information.

Want to join Okinawan Studies? Read on for more.


A new social network (started by Shari Tamashiro) is up on the web and I’m hoping many of Karakui’s readers will join in. The community’s focus will be on Okinawan studies all things Okinawan and is a great way to post blog entries, upload photos and videos, start forum threads, learn about new events, and to just hang out and chat with other members. Be sure to check it out!

Okinawan Studies All Things Okinawan (

(Nifee deebitan to Shari Tamashiro for the invite.)

Center for Okinawa Studies Conference 2009

“From Aza, through Sanzan, Loochoo, and Ryukyu, to Okinawa, to Uchinanchu Diaspora—Where is Okinawan Studies Headed?”

March 19th – March 21st, 2009
Hawaii Imin International Conference Center,
East West Center, Hawaiʻi

The first COS Okinawan Studies conference will feature scholars from UH, the US mainland, Okinawa and Japan and will examine ways in which the various areas of Okinawan Studies can be developed.

Specific topics include:

  • Okinawa Studies in Okinawa, Japan, North America and Europe (Keynote Speeches)
  • Diasporic Identities
  • Traditional Ryukyu
  • Performing Arts
  • Dictionary Production
  • Models of Collaboration
  • Language Revitalization
  • Literature
  • Contemporary Issues (Economy and Politics)
  • Contemporary Issues (Military Issues)
  • Textiles

More information as well as the conference registration form is available on the COS Okinawan Studies 2009 website.

(Nifee deebitan for the tip, Char!)

Off the Wall to feature live Okinawan music!!!

Off the Wall
Originally uploaded by Champuru

Watch, enjoy and listen to live Okinawan music every 1st and 3rd Wednesday night of the month at Off the Wall (Aiea, Hawaii).

(From their email newsletter—nifee deebitan to Sandaa-sensei for the tip!):

Join us this coming Wednesday, September 17, at OFF THE WALL BAR for LIVE OKINAWAN MUSIC by Afuso-Ryu Gensei Kai Hawaii (featuring Grant “Sandaa” Murata-sensei, Kenton Odo-sensei & members of the club).

Music starts at 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

For this special event we have drink specials of $7 – Orion Okinawan Beer (21 oz); purchase a bottle of Awamori and we will hold it for you—featuring Shimauta Awamori or Iichiko Kurobin Shochu Bottles for only $40.00 (at a special price only for this day).

Enjoy Okinawan food dishes such as Rafute, Goya (bittermelon) Champuru, Tofu Champuru, Eggplant Pork Miso Champuru and more!

Seating is limited!!!

For More Information conctact us @ Ph: 808.486.WALL (808.486.9255).
Located @ the Pearl Kai Shopping Center, across from Pearlridge Sears
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy, B-10
Aiea, Hawaii 96701

The food and atmosphere there is excellent (okay, to be fair, I’ve only been there once—check out Donna’s pics of their delicious food—but more reason to go back, yeah?). I’m so there! Tobiiri anyone? (And Sandaa-sensei, I’m coming for one of those bottles of Shimauta Awamori. 😉 )