February 2, 2019

Echoes of Uchina de-ku in Hawai’i

Filed under: community,events — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 10:30 AM

Ukwanshin Kabudan announced the following taiko (drum) event.

Echoes of Uchina de-ku in Hawai'i

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Mitsufumi Ryubu Taiko, a special concert featuring musicians from Mitsufumi Ryubu Taiko Hozon Kai with an appearance by Hawaii Taiko Kai will be performed on Sunday, April 14 at the Hawaii Okinawa Center. An Aloha Party with entertainment by Hawaii Taiko Kai, Senju Kai and Urizun will follow the concert. Please see the attached flyer for ticket information.

Free bus shuttle will be available to/from the concert. The first bus will leave Jikoen Hongwanji to HOC [Hawai’i Okinawa Center]  and return after the concert. A second bus will return later for those riders attending the Aloha Party.

  • Date: April 14, 2019
  • Time: 3:00 PM (performance) ; Door opens at 2:30 PM
  • Place: Hawai’i Okinawa Center (94-587 Uke’e Street, Waipahu, HI 96797)
  • Aloha Party to follow performance
  • Admissions:
    • Performance Tickets: $35/person
    • Aloha Party tickets: $25/person

For bus reservations, please contact: Diana Kawaguchi
phone: 808-261-8421 (leave your name/phone number)
email: dk1284[at]yahoo.com (send your name/phone number)

Please replace [at] with @.

Please come and enjoy an afternoon of exciting music and join us at the Aloha Party to meet and greet the talented performers.

September 1, 2018

Autumn Moon Celebration at HoMA

Filed under: community,events — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 8:00 AM

Ukwanshin Kabudan announced that their annual Jugūya celebration will be held on September 24 at the Doris Duke Theater at the Honolulu Museum of Art. We are thrilled that two well-regarded guest artists from Okinawa will be performing at this concert; Kazue Higa and Atsuko Tamagusuku.

As a convenience to concert-goers, a special “Jugūya Bus” has been chartered for a round-trip ride from Jikoen Hongwanji to the concert site and return. If you plan to catch the bus, you may leave your car in the Jikoen parking lot. There will be no charge (it’s free!) for the bus ride. Traditional moon cakes may also be ordered with your ticket and bus reservations. Seats are limited so send in your reservations as soon possible.

If you have any questions, contact Ukwanshin Kabudan at ukwanshinevents [at] gmail [dot] com. Please replace [at] with @ and [dot] with a period (.).

Okinawan music and dance event on September 24, 2018 at HoMA

Bus schedule for Juguya event at Honolulu Museum of Art

December 18, 2017

Yakabushi – song sung by POWs at the Yaka camp in Okinawa

Filed under: resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Yakabushi (song) and POWs in Okinawa

Yakabushi monument

[Image source: https://www.visitkintown.jp/en/spot/monument-to-yaka-prisoner-of-war-camp]

The song “Yakabushi [屋嘉節]” is often played during the peace memorial in June in Okinawa. In his article titled “Songs of War and Peace: Music and Memory in Okinawa” (2010), James E. Roberson writes:

“Survivors of the Battle of Okinawa, including many civilians, were initially placed by the American military into internment camps throughout Okinawa (Molasky 1999:17). Two well-known songs recall life in these camps, PW Mujō (also, PW Bushi) and Yaka Bushi (Bise 1998:184). The lyrics of both songs largely overlap and were written in the POW camp at Yaka. Both melancholic songs sing of sadness deepened by the harrowing experiences of war, by thoughts of homes and villages destroyed by fighting, by worries about the safety of relatives, and by personal troubles. The lyrics to the first verse of Yaka Bushi are(13)

Yaka Bushi

Beloved Okinawa, turned into a battlefield

Turned into a battlefield

All of the people, with flowing tears

With flowing tears”

Other resources and information related to the songs sung by the POWs are as follows:

  • Ryukyu Shimpo, Yaka Shūyōjoat de tsuito ensō : horyo tsukutta “Yakabushi” hibikaseru (Japanese) / 「屋嘉収容所跡で追悼演奏 捕虜つくった「屋嘉節」響かせる」(『琉球新報』、2017年6月23日)。
  • Nakasone, Ronald Y. (2002). Okinawan diaspora. (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Press), p. 109.

In 2005, Mr. Shōichi Chibana of Yomitan Village in Okinawa visited the West Bank, where he played Yakabushi (or Yaka Bushi) with a Ryukyuan musical instrument called sanshin / 三線.

  • Asahi Shinbun, evening edition (夕刊). (September 17, 2005). “Okinawa, Yimitan songi no Chibana Shōichi-san Paresuchina ni Ryukyu no chinkonka.” Accessed from database Kikuzo II Visual.

July 14, 2017

“Amerikayu”: Okinawa under the US occupation from 1950 to 1972

Filed under: resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Amerika yu* / アメリカ世

*In Okinawa, “yo / 世” is pronounced as “yu / ゆ.”

After Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces at the end of WWII, first the United States Navy, then the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Island (USCAR) occupied Okinawa until 1972.  The era Okinawa was under the US occupation is often referred as “Amerika yu / アメリカ世.” In 1972 Okinawa was returned to Japan (reversion) .  The era after the reversion is called “Yamato yu / 大和世 (やまとゆ).”

Yahoo! Japan has a page that provides interviews of those who lived in “Amerikayu.”

“Beikoku to ikita ‘Amerikayu’ to wa : fukki 45-nen no Okinawa o iku” / 米国と生きた「アメリカ世」とは:復帰45年の沖縄を行く (The page is written in Japanese)

picture of a musician named Kyan Marie

[Image source: https://news.yahoo.co.jp/feature/606]

On the page a video shows an interview of a musician named George Murasaki. Murasaki explained how he and other musicians such as Kyan Marie (喜屋武マリー) worked in clubs which served the US servicemen.

Professor James Roberson at the Kanazawa Seiryo University has written numerous articles on Okinawa under the US occupation, and the occupation’s influence in culture, especially in music.

Here are some articles written by Prof. Roberson:

  • Roberson, James E. (November 2011). “Doin’ our thing”: identity and colonial modernity in Okinawa rock music.” Popular Music and Society,  34(5): 593-620.
  • Roberson, James E. (July 2010). “Singing diaspora: Okinawan songs of home, departure, and return.” Identities,  17(4): 430-453. DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.2010.492330

Print resources at UH Mānoa Library

Sengo o tadoru : “Amerika yu” kara “Yamato no yu” e (=戦後をたどる : 「 アメリカ世」から「ヤマトの世」へ) / Naha-shi Rekishi Hakubutsukan hen.

April 6, 2017

Uta nu Hana: Nomura-ryu Ongaku Kyokai Hawaii Shibu 50th Anniversary Concert

Filed under: events — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Uta nu Hana (うたぬはな): Nomura-ryu Ongaku Kyokai Hawaii Shibu 50th Anniversary Concert

Nomuraryū Ongaku Kyōkai Hawai’i Shibu presents 50th anniversary concert.

  • Date: Saturday, June 3, 2017
  • Time: 2 PM (Doors open at 1:30 PM)
  • Location: Kaimuki High School Theater
  • Admission: $30 (pre-sale); $35 at the door
  • Questions: 808-623-6110

uta nu hana concert flyer

UH Mānoa Library has a few resources related to Nomuraryū Ongaku Kyōkai.

January 9, 2017

Swinging and Singing: Filipino Jazzmen and Okinawan Female Vocalists in Japan and Okinawa

Filed under: events — Tags: , , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Public Lecture by the Center for Okinawan Studies (COS) at the University of Mānoa

COS hosts a public lecture by Professor James Roberson of Kanazawa Seiryō University (Japan) and Professor Nobue Suzuki of Chiba University (Japan) titled Swinging and Singing: Filipino Jazzmen and Okinawan Female Vocalists in Japan and Okinawa.

Poster of Lecture titled "Swinging and Dancing"

Date: Monday, January 9, 2017
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Tokioka Room (in Moore Building #319)

*Moore Building in the above linked map is shown as Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

According to the poster, “James Roberson’s talk will introduce and discuss women who contributed as vocalists to the jazz and rock music scenes in Okinawa,” and Prof. Nobue Suzuki will “introduce Filipinos who had played jazz in mainland Japan and Okinawa.”

Event is free and open to the public.

December 30, 2016

Music Performance: Okinawan Music at East-West Center at UH Manoa

Filed under: news — Tags: — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

East-West Center Presents Okinawan Music on Sunday, January 8, 2017

The East-West Center at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa concludes its semester-long, Okinawa exhibit, Ayanuji, with the music performance on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Photo of Grant "Sandaa" Murata

  • When: Sunday, Jan 8 2017,  2:00pm – 3:00pm
  • Where: East-West Center Gallery, John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road
  • What: President/Director Grant “Sandaa” Murata and members of the Afuso Ryu Koten Ongaku Kenkyu Choichi Kai USA will perform Okinawan music in conjunction with the gallery exhibition, Ayanuji 綾虹 Okinawa’s Traditional Culture: Past and Present.This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.

This is the last chance to enjoy the exhibit! Don’t miss this opportunity!

December 13, 2016

Ishigaki Junior High School Students’ Performance

Filed under: resources — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Dance and Music performed by the students on the Isigaki Island / 石垣中学校による郷土芸能

On November 14, 2016,  Ishigaki Junior High School in Ishigaki City in Okinawa Prefecture performed traditional dance and music at their gym.

The traditional songs played at the event are:

  • Katamibushi / かたみ節
  • Hatomabushi / 鳩間節
  • Asadoyabushi / 安里屋節

Sinclair Library at the University of Mānoa has many audio/visual resources related to Okinawan/Ryukyuan music and dance. Some tips to find and check out media resources are here:

December 6, 2016

Okinawan Music Event at East West Center

Filed under: announcement — Tags: , — okinawacollection @ 7:00 AM

Music Performance: “Mimi-gusui: Life Sustenance through the Ears”


When: Dec 11 2016 – 2:00pm until Dec 11 2016 – 3:00pm
Where: East-West Center Gallery, John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road

What: This“Mimi-gusui: Life Sustenance through the Ears” talk story concert led by Norman Kaneshiro, Musical Director, Ukwanshin Kabudan Ryukyu Performing Arts Group is in conjunction with the gallery exhibition, Ayanuji 綾虹Okinawa’s Traditional Culture: Past and Present.

This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.