Film: Ryukyu Battle Royale

This year’s 33rd HIFF will feature a film shot on location in Okinawa titled “Dancing Karate Kid (Ryukyu Battle Royale)”. The film is directed by Tsukasa Kishimoto and stars former Johnny’s Jr. idol Joey Beni, gravure idol Yui Koike, and karateka Akihito Yagi.

Synopsis from HIFF’s website by Jason Musni Soeda:

Ken Sawamura is a handsome, young hip-hop dancer traipsing his way through Okinawa. With little more than a ghetto blaster, he wanders into a small town hoping to perfect his own style of dance. His liquid smooth, body waving dance moves capture the attention of Iwao Shinjo, an old Ryukyu dance master who believes “a good dancer is also a good fighter.” Ken begins learning Iwao’s folksy dance steps, not realizing his new routines are taking on the form of legendary Ryukyu karate! Also in the mix is Misako, Iwao’s perky and hot-blooded granddaughter, who sees Ken as potential husband material. This should be an ideal situation, but Ken quickly finds himself at odds with local yakuza, a rival karate club master and a centuries-old Okinawan tradition, “the battle for the bride.”

Screens on Sunday, 20 October 2013, at 4:00 PM.

Event: Special Eisa Concert: Naha Daiko & Chinagu Eisa Hawaii with Singer Ikeda Suguru

Chinagu Eisa Hawaii is a local eisa drum group that I have been a fan of for some time. They perform a contemporary style of eisa. The symbol of the group is the kanji “kizuna,” which means strong emotional bonds. For the group, it represents the connection between generations of drummers, between Okinawa and Hawaii, between East and West, and the connection that you have with your culture as an individual.

The group formed in 2008 and first performed with their sister group, Naha Daiko of Naha City, at the 2010 Okinawa Festival and have sent students to train in Okinawa with them. Naha Daiko is a professional eisa group from Okinawa.

Saturday, September 8, 2012 (2:00pm and 6:00pm) at Mamiya Theatre

(via Shari T.)

Event: Washita Ichiman | Our Itoman: Okinawan Songs and Dance

Two shows (2:30 PM and 7:30 PM) on Saturday, 9 June 2012, at the Doris Duke Theatre (Honolulu, Hawaii). Tickets can be purchased online at the Honolulu Museum of Arts’ website:

The cultural heritage of the 500-year-old Okinawan fishing village Itoman comes to life when Ukwanshin Kabudan presents Washita Ichiman: Our Itoman. Tomoko Uehara (lead vocalist for Rinken Band) and dance master Atsuko Tamagusuku (founder of Udui Fukura dance company) make a rare appearance outside Japan to perform the songs and dances of their childhood.

Link

Also check out Tomoko Uehara’s music available on iTunes.

Event: 2nd Eisa Drum Festival in Hawaii

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WHAT? 2nd Eisa Drum Festival

WHEN? Saturday, May 12, 2012

TIME? 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm

WHERE? Great Lawn, Kapiolani Community College

Kapiolani Community College and the Office of Student Activities are pleased to announce that the 2nd Eisa Drum Festival will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012 on the Great Lawn at the center of our campus.

Program will begin at 5:30 pm and conclude with a grand finale at 9 pm. Food sales will begin at 5 pm. The event is FREE and open to the public.

WHAT IS EISA? Eisa is a form of dance and drumming unique to Okinawa. The Eisa Drum Festival seeks to celebrate and develop an appreciation for this little known form of drumming in Hawaii. There will be a spectrum of Eisa, ranging from traditional dances to contemporary styles.

WHY IS THIS FESTIVAL SPECIAL? The festival will feature the largest gathering of Eisa drummers in Hawaii, all uniting for a spectacular grand finale. We hope to have over 100 performers all drumming together. There will be a gathering of the Shisa (Okinawan Lion Dogs).

There will also be a special guest performer. The acclaimed artist, choreographer, director, and one of my favorite performers Daiichi Hirata is traveling all the way from Okinawa to participate in Eisa Festival!

Performers include: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Hawaii Eisa Shinyuu Kai, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, and the Young Okinawans of Hawaii with Paranku Clubs of Hawaii, Taiko Center of the Pacific, Urizun Minyo Group, and Kawika Napoleon.

Enjoy live music under the stars. Bring lawn chairs to sit on, blankets, and jackets. Parking is free. Alcohol is strictly prohibited. Parking Map of campus.

FOOD! The majority of the food on sale will be prepared by Chef Grant Sato and Chef Dave Hamada of KCC’s culinary program. Special desserts provided by the KCC Slow Food Club. There will be rafute, kabocha, miso eggplant, special bento, yakisoba, andagi and more! Check out the Okinawan sweet potato bread pudding and “Goya Popper.” Full list of items for sale and descriptions will be posted shortly at www.facebook.com/eisahawaii

Up-to-date information on program, schedule, parking, maps, and food items on sale will be posted at www.facebook.com/eisahawaii

The 1st Eisa Drum Festival was a truly magical event. We were blessed with amazing performances and an incredible crowd. To see videos and photos from the 1st festival, please visit: www.pigsfromthesea.com

(h/t Shari)