Concert: 3 Strings, Songs of Okinawa

20110302 Okinawa 3strings

Mr. Choichi Terukina, recognized as a Living National Treasure of Japan for his performance of Classical Okinawan music as known as Ryukyu Koten, will take the stage on Saturday, March 19, at 7:00 pm at the Center for Early Education’s Community Center, 563 North Alered Street, West Hollywood, CA 90048, to introduce the recently formed Choichi Kai Los Angeles, the inaugural branch of his sanshin studio in Los Angeles.

The concert program, “3 Strings, Songs of Okinawa” will mark his first performance with the freshman in the Los Angeles studio. In addition to the Los Angeles group, members of the accomplished Afuso-ryu Gensei Kai Hawaii will join Mr. Terukina onstage.

Mr. Grant “Sandaa” Murata, a protégé of Mr. Terukina, and a recognized master of sanshin in his own right, fronts the list of accomplished Afuso-ryu Gensei Kai Hawaii sanshin players. […]

Read the full article at Cultural News.

Check out the Facebook page for more information.

Buying sanshin in the U.S. has become that much easier

What an exciting time we’re living in if you’re a fan of the sanshin. In the past, those of us outside of Okinawa who play the sanshin would have to either go there or be fortunate enough to know someone who lives or travels there for us to buy the instrument or its accessories (e.g. strings, uma, karakui, etc.). Although there have been ways to order the instrument online (like eBay, Asoviva Sanshin), I’m very happy to announce that sanshin and sanshin accessories can now be ordered in Hawaii. In addition to being able to purchase a variety of new sanshin or its accessories, you can also have the skin from your sanshin’s chiiga (drum) replaced with a new one of your choice: real snakeskin, double-layer (a combination of a layer of real snakeskin over a layer of synthetic covering), or synthetic covering.

Continue reading “Buying sanshin in the U.S. has become that much easier”

“BENI invited to Anime Expo 2010” – Tokyograph

Singer BENI (24), who just achieved her first #1 album this past week with “Lovebox,” has been confirmed as an official Guest of Honor for this year’s Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles.

Anime Expo 2010 is being held on July 1-4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. BENI is scheduled to perform a concert on July 3 at the Nokia Theater.

BENI, who used to perform under her full name Beni Arashiro, once attended an elementary school in San Diego, California. However, this will be her first time performing as a singer in the continental United States.

(Via Tokyograph.)


Clip from BENI’s “Gimme Gimme” single released on May 5, 2010.

Anime Expo 2010’s article on BENI.
Wikipedia entry for BENI

Mark this date: 2/14/09 Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii

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One of my favorite artists of both Okinawan and Hawaiian music is Keith Nakaganeku (with his band Calabash) and I got a tip that he’ll be performing along with his friend Masaru Shimabukuro (BEGIN‘s guitarist) at this year’s Ukulele Picnic 2009 in Hawaii on Saturday, February 14, 2009. He’ll be singing “Nada Sou Sou” and Masaru will be backing him up on the Ichi Go Ichie instrument he and BEGIN designed with luthier K.Yairi.

There’s a pretty impressive lineup of musicians from Hawaii and Japan and best of all, the event is free, and will be held at the Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu, Hawaii.

And if you haven’t purchased Keith’s debut album, “Hawaiian Jazz Done Asian Style,” it’s available on Amazon.com. (Image to the left contains a clickable affiliate link that helps out Karakui.com if you purchase the album from it. Nifee in advance! 😀 )

BEGIN’s record label, Teichiku, started up their own YouTube channel where you can find the band’s latest song, “Egao no Manma,” for viewing. I guess it’s a great way to see what Masaru looks like so you can give him a shaka and Aloha when you see him (and Keith too) at the Ukulele Picnic. 😉

(Nifee deebitan for the tip, Derek & Keith!)

Lecture-Demonstration: “Ryukyu Geino: The Legacy of Kin Ryosho”

There will be a Ryukyuan/Okinawan classical performing arts lecture-demonstration next month on Sunday the 12th from 3PM to 5PM at the University of Hawai‘i School of Architecture Auditorium. Admission is free!

From the flyer (download it here in PDF):

“Ryukyu Geino: The Legacy of Kin Ryosho,” a free public lecture-demonstration discussing the art and teachings of Master Kin Ryosho, will be presented on Sunday, October 12, 2008, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM at the UH Manoa School of Architecture Auditorium.

Master Kin Ryosho, one of the last links to the classical performing arts of the Ryukyuan Kingdom, was designated a National Living Treasure by the Japanese government for his knowledge of Kumi Udui, the 18th century classical Okinawan court dance drama.

The program will feature short lectures by Dr. Kathy Foley, University of California, Santa Cruz and Dr. Nobuko Ochner, University of Hawai‘i Manoa. Dances and demonstrations of Kumi Udui will be presented by the students of Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone, Lecturer in Okinawan Dance at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and director of the Hawai‘i chapter of Master Kin’s school, Jimpu Kai USA Kin Ryosho Ryukyu Geino Kenkyusho Hawai‘i Shibu.

Doors open at 2:30 PM. Seating is limited. Free parking is available under the School of Architecture building and on campus. Elevator for disabled guests can be accessed through the parking lot under the Architecture building.

This project was made possible through funding from the University of Hawai‘i Japan Studies Endowment and co-sponsored by the University of Hawai‘i’s Center for Japanese Studies and Center for Okinawan Studies.

(Nifee deebitan to Char for the info!)

Tamagusuku Ryu Senjukai Frances Nakachi Ryubu Dojo to celebrate 10th anniversary on 11/16/2008

I had a chance to chat with Frances Nakachi-sensei, director of the Tamagusku Ryu Senjukai Frances Nakachi Ryubu Dojo, this weekend at the Okinawan Festival and found out that her dance troupe will be celebrating their 10th anniversary with a performance at the Hawaii Theatre on November 16, 2008 (Sunday) at 2 PM. More information is available on her dance troupe’s website.

Katsuko Teruya’s “Koto Rainbow” on October 26, 2008

Master Katsuko Teruya will be holding her 40th anniversary concert, “Koto Rainbow (Kutu Nuuji),” on Sunday, October 26, 2008. The concert will take place at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center and featured guests from Okinawa include Choichi Terukina (Afuso Ryu), Nozo Miyagi II (Miyagi Ryu) and Hiroko Akamine (president of the Ryukyu Sokyoku Koyo Kai). Guests from Hawaii include Yoshiko Nakasone (Hooge Kai Nakasone Dance Academy), Yoshie Nakasone (Kinryosho Geino Kenkyusho Hawaii Shibu) and Grant “Sandaa” Murata (Afuso Ryu Gensei Kai Hawaii Shibu).