Isshin – Of One Heart

Okay, I blogged about this joint (dance and taiko) concert a while back ago at and also at the ol’ before I “accidentally” killed it (don’t ask). This’ll be the first for this blog tho’.

ISSHINOf One Heart

A concert featuring classical, contemporary and avant garde Okinawan dance and taiko

Leeward Community College Theatre
Saturday, February 17, 2007
7:00 PM

Presented by:
Jimpu Kai USA, Kin Ryosho Ryukyu Geino Kenkyusho
Hawaii Taiko Kai

Ticket Price: $20, open seating
For tickets and information, please contact:

mmaechung[at]wmconnect[dot]com – Jimpu Kai, USA
hawaiitaikokai[at]yahoo[dot]com – Hawaii Taiko Kai

My friend who is a member of Cheryl Sensei’s dance troupe said that they’re almost sold-out of tickets so you better get ’em quick! (That includes me too. 😉 )

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii’s 10th Anniversary Recital

Dang, that’s a long post title. I’m back from an unplanned break (small part of it due to a lack of news, the rest because I was blogging elsewhere—sorry) from blogging here to bring you information on a recital of Okinawan taiko by Hawaii’s very own branch of the Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (RMD). More info on the recital can be found on their official website (link below) but here’s the gist of it:

Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii
10th Anniversary Recital
Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel (Magic Showroom)
Sunday, April 1, 2007 @ 1:00 PM
Ticket Information: RMD Hawaii’s Official Website

If you love eisaa taiko (who doesn’t?), it’ll probably be worth checking out. As an added bonus, Yaeyama eisaa rocker Hidekatsu will be performing too.

Orange Clover Gets It

Two days ago I blogged about BEGIN’s plans for 2007 and one of the artists that I mentioned on that post caught my attention. Orange Clover is a relatively new J/O-pop duo from Ishikagi-jima who released their first album “LaLaLaLaLa” in 2004. Female lead singer/lyricist Shinobu Nakasone and male guitarist/composer Nobuhiro Miyara only have that debut album to their credit but through their website you can download samples of the duo’s music (and that’s where they get it). Also available are the lyrics to each song and while only one is available as a full-song, the others are 1-2 minute samples which leaves you wanting to listen to the whole thing! It looks like (at least according to their website) the only place to find the album in Naha is at cool record store, Get Happy Records. Other than that store, you’ll only find it for sale in Ishigaki-jima record shops. Orange Clover is definitely worth a listen and I’d buy it in a snap if it were available through the iTunes Store.

An Ageless Christmas Melody

Got wind of this little gem from Deckman. The song is called “Christmas Melody” and is performed by Takano Uehara with composition by her friend H. Tanahara. According to Deckman, Takano is an amateur singer from Itoman and the video was put out on the web to see if there would be any interest in it. Personally, I think the song is quite catchy and kind of cool. I definitely like it and would like to hear more from the singer. Although I couldn’t find much info on Takano, she is on MySpace. Check out the video, check out her MySpace page and let’s hope to hear more from her in 2007.

Begin-ing to Release Albums Again (Kind of)

Our favorite O-Pop group from Yaeyama, BEGIN, is back as a trio after taking a break and taking on solo/side projects. October 2006’s single “Sanshin no Hana” (TECI-109) marked their return as a group and in 2007 they’ll go on tour, see the release of their autobiographical movie “Koishikute” (the theme song to the film, “Miifaifyuu” [TECI-110], is set to be released on February 7, 2007), and a new album (kind of). While it’s not an original full-album but rather a cover album called “Sanshin no Hana Utagassen” (TECI-1152), it’s a new release nonetheless. The album will feature four (NOSE WATER, Orange Clover, SOUNDER BIRDS and Born ti Cafta.) of the group’s kouhai from Yaeyama and will be released to the wild on March 7, 2007.

New to Karakui?

Hah, almost forgot an important detail. I’ll probably have some new visitors finding their way to Karakui since I’ve joined the WordPress community, so let me say Haisai (welcome in the Okinawan language) to you! While the old site is still up, feel free to visit the older posts at Thanks for visiting!

Scoop: Jake Shimabukuro to Perform in Kouhaku!

Okay, so it may not really be a scoop for Karakui but it’s good news nonetheless. As reported on and on Jake’s Japanese-language website KLUB (it’s not on his English-language site yet), the Hawaii-born ukulele virtuoso will be performing as a special guest with Rimi Natsukawa at this year’s Kouhaku Uta-gassen. Rimi and Jake will perform Shoukichi Kina’s “Hana”. Yay!

Jake Shimabukuro’s Change of Pace

Known for his amazing technique on the ukulele, Jake Shimabukuro (30), recently took part in this year’s Honolulu Marathon – the first for the Hawaii-born musician. According to an article on the Honolulu Star-Bulletin the marathon was one of the hardest things he’s ever done – changing his lifestyle which has in turn, affected his music too.

Shimabukuro is known for his hyperkinetic performances in which he bounces around the stage as he rapidly strums his ukulele. But as he approached his 30th birthday in November, he moved into a more mellow and what he views as a more mature style.

Also in the same article, there’s mention that his latest album from his own HITCHHIKE RECORDS label “Gently Weeps” (link will open iTunes) – released in September of this year and includes 11 tracks penned by him, has been on the Billboard’s World Music Chart for 12 weeks and ranked as high as number two. My personal favorite off of the album is “Wish On My Star (Vocal Version)”.