One of the nicest and humblest humans we’ve met, Nakasone Hajime is having an amazing 2023 and it’s much deserved. He recently announced his marriage and now he has a new album “En” that will be released on June 3rd. Can you believe that it’s already been 7 years since his previous album “Ten” was released? Much love and congratulations to Hajime.
Alicia Ang’s “Echoes from an Island”
A book about Okinawa? We’re all in! Alicia Ang’s “Echoes from an Island” is the author’s self-published book debut featuring poems and short stories with Okinawa as its theme. The book’s introduction mentions that Alicia was working on a YA (young adult) historical fantasy with the protagonist starting off as a refugee in Okinawa — how amazing is that! That story is in this book as “the moon princess” chapter.
Told through the eyes of a woman visiting Okinawa, Japan, Echoes from an Island takes readers on a search for meaning that stretches across cultures, kingdoms, and eras—experiencing ocean wonders, feminine strength, and spirituality, leaving one with a sense of awe and a touch of magic.https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BT9CW6CG
HoRookies “Dawn” to be the Main Theme Song for the Film “Yō izuru”
Okinawa pop rock band HoRookies announced on Instagram that their single “Dawn” will be the main theme song for the film “Yō izuru (Sunrise)”. The film will have its world premiere in the upcoming 15th Okinawa International Movie Festival on April 15th. We’re looking forward to listening to the new songs and hopefully we’ll be able to watch the film too.
Singer Anly to Hold a Fender Workshop in Fukuoka
Fender Japan announced that singer Anly (our most listened to artist for 2022!) will have her own Fender Workshop in Fukuoka! The workshop will be for those starting out or looking to improve their acoustic guitar skills. Fender gives Anly a lot of love so is it only a matter of time till she has her own signature model?
Film “Kiminisachiare yo” Stars Kobashigawa Tatsuru
Coming to theaters this February is “Kiminisachiare yo” which stars Okinawan actor Kobashigawa Tatsuru (Waido from Okinawan Heroes) and fellow Okinawan actor and Waido cast member (the super cool) Tamayose Keiji. An interesting side note to the film is that it’s directed by Sakurai Keisuke who had a role in the NHK drama “Chimudondon” as one of the kitchen staff (Tamashima Masahiro). Below is the film’s trailer and it looks like an amazing story.
Cesar Farro Yamaguchi & His Grandfather’s Sanshin
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!
Awich, Brand Director of Habush
We’ve already declared 2022 as the Year of Awich™ and now she goes and becomes the Brand Director of an awamori drink? Yup, we kid you not. Awich is now tied to Habush, an alcoholic drink that’s made of awamori, habu extract, and 13 kinds of herbs according to the label on the bottle. Habushu is nothing new but that traditional drink normally includes an actual habu in the bottle which as far as we know cannot be taken outside of Okinawa or Japan. So since Habush doesn’t include a habu it’s okay. We leave you with this tidbit of information via Wikipedia (yeah, sad 🐍):
Alternatively, the snake may be put on ice until it passes out, at which point it is gutted, bled and sewn up. When the viper is thawed and awakens, it will quickly die in an aggressive striking manner, which is what most producers look for.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habushu
i-Dushi Goes on Hiatus (Again)
Just when it looked like they were back to touring and recording new material i-Dushi will be going on hiatus and this time it’s Naminami’s turn. Their last hiatus (not counting the several starts and stops due to the Covid-19 pandemic), was for Cana’s pregnancy and maternity leave. Naminami’s announcement mentions that they’ve been working non-stop since graduating from university and she wants to take a little break from i-Dushi to try new things. She also confirms that the duo are not breaking up (we’re seeing our trauma come back from Yanawaraba’s split) so let’s give all our support to Naminami and look forward to seeing i-Dushi come back stronger when they reunite.
Awich and Ryuchell in 2022 Voice Project
Last year’s Voice Project (similar to Rock the Vote) featured Nikaido Fumi and this year we have two shimanchu: talent Ryuchell and rapper Awich.
Chinen Rina in Mary Poppins Musical
Chinen Rina to play the role of Winifred Banks in the musical “Mary Poppins” that will be performed at the Umeda Arts Theater in Osaka in May and June 2022. This month (October) also happens to mark Rina’s 25th year in the entertainment industry! To celebrate the milestone Sony Records has released all 81 of Rina’s Sony-era songs worldwide.