Happy Sanshin Day!

Well, it was actually yesterday in Okinawa but today here in the rest of the world. Thankfully, if you missed all 9 hours of it, RBCi’s YouTube channel has you covered with all 3 parts! It’s so nice to see Part 1 with over 12,000 views so let’s get those numbers up and be sure to subscribe to their channel.

Link to Part 1, Link to Part 2, and Link to Part 3.

Oh, and before you watch it, be sure to have your sanshin ready as they perform Kagiyadefu 9 times! Tuning is in C.

Chimudondon – NHK’s 2022 Morning Drama

Image via NHK

NHK announced its 2022 morning drama (asadora) and it’s an Okinawan series called Chimudondon (ちむどんどん)! The 106th edition of the series follows 2001’s “Churasan (ちゅらさん)” (can you believe it’s 20 years ago?!) as the second asadora with an Okinawan theme. Chimudondon stars Okinawan-born actress Kuroshima Yuina (黒島結菜) and will tell the story of chef Higa Nobuko (比嘉暢子) with Okinawa of the 1960s and beyond as the backdrop. Other than Yuina and Jon Kabira (ジョン・カビラ) who is handling the narrating, the rest of the cast hasn’t been announced yet so there’s hope that we’ll see more actresses and actors from Okinawa. We’re also interested to find out who will be handling the theme song — perhaps Miura Daichi? Kuroshima Yuina will follow in the footsteps of asadora alumni from Okinawa Kuninaka Ryoko (2001’s Churasan) and Higa Manami (2007’s Dondo Hare) both who have gone on to have prosperous careers.

We look forward to hearing more news about Chimudondon and to watching it in 2022.

Elizabeth Miki Brina’s “Speak, Okinawa”

I’m looking forward to reading Speak, Okinawa (my mother is also from Okinawa — my father is a 3rd generation Japanese-American) as I’m sure I’ll find some similarities with my own childhood. Fortunately, I’m from Hawaii where there are many like me but there were still instances where I learned that I had a different childhood from other Japanese-Americans. An example that easily comes to mind is having a friend visit our home and remarking that there’s a lot of Japanese (it was actually a mix of items from both Okinawa and Japan) things. This was the first time I thought that we were somehow different from other Japanese-American families.

Sanshin no Hi March 4, 2021

The 29th annual Sanshin no Hi (さんしんの日) is taking place on Thursday, 4th March 2021 (“34 Day” Japan time). There will be 3 parts to the celebration with Part 1 featuring artists as China Sadahito 知名定人 (Sadao’s son), Matsuda Kazutoshi 松田一利, Hatoma Kanako 鳩間可奈子, and Miyara Kōsei 宮良康正 (my relative) among others. Part 2 will be a special performance and Part 3 will feature Yamakawa Mayumi 山川まゆみ, Yonaha Tōru よなは徹, Nakasone Hajime 仲宗根創, and Tokuhara Seibun 徳原清文 among others. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the celebration will be broadcast on the radio and will run from 11:45 AM to 9 PM. Hawaii time is March 3rd (Wednesday) from 4:45 PM. It looks like it’ll be streamed on YouTube via RBCi Radio or Music Shower Plus+ account.

Sanshin no Hi official website

Twitter User @kubocchi0617 Shares Rare Footage of Amuro Namie

In the short 2-minute clip Amuro and her best friend since preschool walk through Heiwa-dōri. Looks to be around the time she made her solo debut from Super Monkey’s (and before she hit it big) as hitomi’s CANDY GIRL (from 1995) is playing in the background (why not one of Amuro’s songs?!).

2021 Marks SPEED’s 25th Anniversary

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since SPEED made their debut. To commemorate this occasion the group released a special box set called SPEED MUSIC BOX -ALL THE MEMORIES- for ¥19,968 ($199 USD) containing several booklets, CDs, and Blu-rays — definitely a must-have item for diehard fans. Of the 4 members, 3 are quite active on social media and Hitoe remains the most private member of the group (links are to their Twitter accounts): Shimabukuro Hiroko, Imai Eriko and Uehara Takako. Link to the group’s official website with Avex. Congratulations!