Okinawa Performing Artists to Present June 8 Lecture-Demo on Kumiwudui

Okinawa Performing Artists to Present June 8 Lecture-Demo on Kumiwudui

Photo of Okinawa Performing Artists - Yamada Kazuko, Nakandakari Tetsuya, Hanashiro Sekichi

The 85th anniversary of Kin Ryosho Sensei’s teaching of the art of Kumiwudui, also known as Kumi Odori, in Hawai‘i — and the 41st anniversary of his teaching dance and Kumiwudui at the University of Hawai‘i will be commemorated with the presentation of a lecture demonstration by two of Kin-Sensei’s former students. The program is themed “Transmission of a Legacy — In the Footsteps of Ryosho Kin.”

Performing artists Hanashiro Seikichi (aka James S. Hanashiro), Nakandakari Tetsuya and Yamada Kazuko from Okinawa will present a Kumiwudui Okinawa classical dance drama lecture-demonstration on Thursday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. The presentation will be held in Orvis Auditorium at the UH-Mänoa Music Department. Admission is free.

Hanashiro, who was born, raised and educated in Hawai‘i, will discuss the origins, history and development of Kumiwudui. Hanashiro moved to Okinawa after graduating from UH. He will also talk about how the art was taught by Kin-Sensei in the classical tradition and explain how audiences in the past viewed Kumiwudui as compared to audiences today.

The second half of the program will focus on the recitation of the lines and listening to the music from the classical masterpiece, “Chuukoo Fujin,” (“The Loyal Wife”) which was written during the latter years of the Ryükyü Kingdom. It is also known as “Uukawa Tichiuchi,” or “The Uukawa Vendetta.”

Hanashiro, Nakandakari and Yamada are performing arts veterans in Okinawa. Hanashiro Seikichi earned his bachelor’s degree in Japanese and Asian history from the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa in 1970. He studied Okinawan dance and Kumiwudui, earning his teaching certificate in 1976. Hanashiro continued to study dance under the late Kin-Sensei until his passing in 1993. From 1972 to 1995, he participated in Kumi Odori — Jinpu Kai Kin Ryosho Kyokyu Geino Kenkyu Kai. Hanashiro also studied the various musical instruments heard in Okinawan performances, including the kücho (Okinawan fiddle), hwanso (Okinawan flute) and kutu (koto). He also teaches Omote Senke tea ceremony in Okinawa, where he has lived for more than 45 years.

Nakandakari Tetsuya teaches koto and uta sanshin (singing while performing sanshin) in Okinawa. He holds uta sanshin certificates for both traditional Kumiwudui and traditional Okinawan dance. Nakandakari also teaches Okinawan music at Kadena High School and is a member of the Kawasaki Okinawa organization, whose mission is to perpetuate and research Kumiwudui.

Yamada Kazuko began studying koto before venturing into Okinawan dance. In 1968, she began training in Kumiwudui with Kin-Sensei. Yamada holds teaching certificates in both koto and Okinawan dance. From 1973 to 2001, she participated in “An Evening of Kumi Odori” programs. The works in those programs were based on Kin-Sensei’s research.

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