Members of the Ryukyu Sokyoku Koyo Kai Hawaii Shibu (chapter) celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding with a concert of all eight schools/member-clubs on April 10 at the Hawaii Okinawa Center.
The Hawaii Shibu’s eight member-clubs and their kaishu (teacher) are: Arakawa Yasuko Aki no Kai (Yasuko Arakawa), Yamashiro Yoneko Sokyoku Kenkyu Kai (Yoneko Yamashiro Edmondson), Jane Kaneshiro Sozan Kai (Jane Tamae Kaneshiro), Kaya Sokyoku Kyoshitsu (Diane Hatsuko Kaya), Chieko Miyasato Sokyoku Kai (Chieko Miyasato), Miyashiro Soho Kai (Bonnie Naomi Miyashiro), Toma Toyoko Sokyoku Kai (Sharon Toyoko Toma) and Sunny Tominaga Sanyuu Kai (Sunny Tominaga).
The Hawai‘i chapter schools were joined by members of the honbu (main school) in Okinawa and the Los Angeles shibu. The opening seishö (medley) featured an impressive 43 koto playing in unison like a symphony. Amazingly, the performers had only one complete preconcert rehearsal together. The concert program featured several medleys of songs. Some of them were performed with uta sanshin (playing sanshin and singing simultaneously), küchö (Okinawan fiddle), fwansö (flute) and/or taikö (drum). There were even some Okinawan dance numbers.
The audience also had a chance to listen to original cassette recordings of the first Hawaii Shibu officers performing — Shizuko Kiyabu-Sensei, Nae Nakasone-Sensei, Yoshiko Kawakami-Sensei and Otoyo Izumigawa-Sensei. Bonnie Miyashiro-Sensei gave a brief explanation of each song and key parts that the audience should pay special attention to while listening to the recordings.
A dentatsushiki (awards ceremony) was held after the intermission. Receiving their shihan (master instructor) certificates were Derek Fujio (Jane Kaneshiro Sozan Kai), Kazuko Ito (Toyoko Toma Sökyoku Kai), Sara Nakatsu (Miyashiro Soho Kai), Kazumi Iho (Miyasato Chieko Sökyoku Kai) and Ruth Oshiro (Miyashiro Soho Kai). Receiving their kyoshi (instructor) certificates were Kathy Shigemura (Miyashiro Soho Kai) and James Edmonson (Yamashiro Yoneko Sökyoku Kenkyü Kai).