Brandon Ufugusuku Ing’s “Chijuyaa” on the DisOrient 2023 Film Festival

We think we first saw the video for Brandon Ufugusuku Ing’s “Chijuyaa” during one of the HUOA’s YouTube channel livestreams and thought it was an amazing arrangement of “Hamachiduri” and a very beautiful video. Now we’ll have a chance to watch it again as it’s been selected to be streamed on the DisOrient 2023 Film Festival! And if you love it be sure to support him on his Bandcamp.

Chijuyaa – the plover. Descendants of Okinawan immigrants in Hawai‘i perform a traditional Ryūkyūan song and dance, evoking memories of the past, and emotions of loneliness and yearning. Sung in Uchinaaguchi, one of the endangered Ryūkyūan languages.

It’ll be available for streaming from 3/13 to 3/19. The trailer is down below.

“Chijuyaa” Trailer via the 2023 DisOrient Film Festival

Amazon Smile Charity Raises $850 for HUOA in 2022

(Pictured: Hat In4mation Purple Bingata)

There are many ways to donate to the Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA) and one of the easiest is to choose them as your AmazonSmile charitable organization. So every time you shop on AmazonSmile, you donate to HUOA! I think they just added their organization to AmazonSmile late this year so let’s chip in and make it a big 2023 for them. By the way, pictured is an amazing bingata design cap (there’s also one in red) that continues to sell out for them but they now have it back in stock!

Cesar Farro Yamaguchi & His Grandfather’s Sanshin

(via Twitter)

Here’s a heart-warming story about a 3rd generation Peruvian-Okinawa, Cesar Farro Yamaguchi, who brought his grandfather’s sanshin to Okinawa. Currently studying sanshin craftsmanship in Okinawa at Naha’s Shoukoubou (尚工房) under sanshin maker Kishimoto Naoto, Cesar had his grandfather’s sanshin appraised by the Ryukyu Sanshin Musical Instrument Preservation and Development Association and it was determined to be around a hundred years old. His grandfather brought the sanshin back to Peru with him around 1970 and Cesar is working on fixing it in Okinawa and making it playable again. His goal is to learn how to repair sanshin and return to Peru to help out others like him with broken sanshin. It’s such an amazing thing he wants to do and we wish him the best!

Yukkii (Kyan x Kyan) Debuts as Singer Chiichiikaakaa but There’s a Big Hitch

Chiichiikaakaa’s “Imichoudai” MV

Yukkii from the Okinawa comedy duo Kyan x Kyan recently made his Rising Records singer (character?) debut as an “Okinawan Dialect Traditional Artist”. Yup, he uses the word dialect. 😢 He follows in the footsteps of Gori (Garage Sale), Ryuchell, Higa Ryuuta (Arinkurin), and Jun (Okinawa Channel) among others. A digital single is expected to be released on 10/5.

China Sadao Interview – RBC News

China Sadao interview from RBC News for his song “Bye Bye Okinawa”

This is an amazing interview with China Sadao-sensei on RBC News’s YouTube channel. The theme of the interview is based on his hit shimauta pop song “Bye Bye Okinawa” and goes pretty deep for a 7-minute clip.

Here’s a video of the current generation Nenes performing the song live:

(They mention that there’s some audio issues for the video.)

Miyagi Karin’s “Chimuganasa” (Short Shorts Film Festival)

Scene from Miyagi Karin’s “Chimuganasa”

Model/singer/entrepreneur/actress and now film director Miyagi Karin’sChimuganasa” is available for online screening with English subtitles until June 30th as part of the Short Shorts Film Festival. The film which was written and directed by Karin, brings together three generations of actresses with the veterans Yoshida Taeko, Kyan Hitomi (currently on NHK’s “Chimudondon”), and Karin. The film also stars Tsuha Ryuto (“Miracle City Koza”) and features music by her Nanaironote mates Homare and Nakamine Yoshimori (sanshin). Watching the film (putting aside the use of the term hougen) with the scenes featuring shimakutuba are so powerful and emotional. The words have weight to them. But see and decide for yourself as you won’t want to miss this free screening!

Trailer for “Chimuganasa”

World Sanshin Festival

For the first time, a World Sanshin Festival will be held in the fall to coincide with the 7th Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival (10/30 to 11/3). Looks like they’ll do a “tour festival” in an effort to reduce crowds due to the ongoing pandemic and the World Sanshin Festival will be held every five years after the 2025 WUF. If you’re interested in learning more about the different genres of our music and looking to buy a sanshin (it sounds like sanshin makers/stores will be participating in the festival), this is the event to go to.

World Sanshin Festival PR Movie

NHK’s Morning Drama “Chimudondon” Starts Airing on 4/11

via NHK

The countdown has begun since we’re days away from the 4/11 start of the much anticipated NHK morning drama “Chimudondon” that’s set in Okinawa (Yanbaru) and in Japan. After a long wait, we also know the musician that’s singing the drama’s theme song: Okinawa’s Miura Daichi and his song “Sansan” will be released on 4/11 (no links to streaming services at this time).

Let’s look at the shimanchu actors for the drama.

  • Higa Nobuko (the heroine of the drama): Kuroshima Yuina (Itoman)
  • Higa Yuuko (Nobuko’s mother): Nakama Yukie (Urasoe)
  • Arakaki no Obaa: Kyan Hitomi (Naha)
  • Amuro no Obaa: Ameku Michiko (Ginowan)
  • Masutaa (hamburger restaurant master): Kawata Hiroki (Naha) of Garage Sale
  • Kaneshiro Junji (a fellow shimanchu at a Yokohama izakaya): “Shiisaa” Fujiki Hayato (Okinawa) — he’s also in charge of shimakutuba for the drama
  • Narrator: Jon Kabira (Naha)

“Chimudondon” is the 106th in the Renzoku Terebi Shousetsu (morning drama) series from NHK and follows “Jun to Ai” (87th, aired 2012-2013, set in Miyakojima and Osaka), and “Churasan” (64th, aired 2001, set in Okinawa [the first to be set in Okinawa] and Tokyo). We’re interested to see the Tsurumi (Yokohama) location of the drama which is known for having an area called Little Okinawa and has many Okinawan, Brazilian, and Korean stores. It’s also where many shimanchu reside.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Mitzi Carter’s Yuntaku with Awich on 10/11

“First Language” Poster

Mitzi Carter is going to do a yuntaku with rapper Awich! She just kicked off her Queendom Tour 2021 so this must be an exciting time for her.

Save the date-Oct 11th (Indigenous People’s Day): Film screening of First Language and panel discussion + my short yuntaku (chat) with the one and only @Awich098 on rap and Okinawan identity!

It’ll be on Zoom and hopefully someone will upload it to YouTube for those of us unable to attend.

Okinawa: Authors in Conversation (YouTube)

JAMP on YouTube

If you missed the livestream for the “Authors in Conversation: Akemi Johnson & Elizabeth Miki Brina“, there’s now an archive version for VOD! Mariko Middleton (Ichariba Choodee podcast) did a great job in moderating the conversation.

We will take a brief dive into the elements surrounding this incredible unique land, people, and culture through the the lenses of authors Akemi Johnson, Night in the American Village, and Elizabeth Miki Brina, Speak, Okinawa, in a conversation moderated by Mariko Middleton of the Ichariba Choodee: Okinawan Voices and Stories Podcast. We’ll talk about identity, inspiration, history, and inquire into the future of Okinawa, concluding with hopes and dreams.

Having both authors’ audiobooks in our Audible library, who would have thought that we would be able to see this wonderful conversation take place. So awesome.