This weekend is the 29th Okinawan Festival. Due to popular demand, here is the schedule of the festivities:
SATURDAY, SEPT. 3, 2011 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
9 a.m. RYUKYU SOKYOKU KOYO KAI HAWAII SHIBU
Yoneko Yamashiro Edmondson, Chapter President
Featured clubs: Teruya Katsuko Sokyoku Kai, Jane Kaneshiro Sozan Kai, Bonnie Miyashiro Soho Kai, Toma Toyoko Sokyoku Kai, Yasuko Arakawa Aki no Kai, Kaya Hatsuko Sokyoku Kai, Yamashiro Yoneko Sokyoku Kenkyu Kai
9:25 a.m. KILAUEA OKINAWA DANCE CLUB
Toshiko Neumann, Leader
9:45 a.m. NOMURA RYU ONGAKU KYOKAI HAWAII SHIBU
Keith Nakaganeku, Chapter President
10:05 a.m. HAWAII TAIKO KAI
Terry Higa, Instructor
10:30 a.m. OPENING PROCESSION — HUOA Club Banners
Featuring Shishimai, Chondara and Paranku Clubs of Hawaii
11 a.m. FORMAL OPENING CEREMONIES
11:30 a.m. KIKUE KANESHIRO RYUBU KENKYU KAI
Joyce Shimabukuro and Shizuko Shiroma, Liaisons
Noon RYUKYUKOKU MATSURI DAIKO HAWAII
Akemi Martin, Regional Director
12:30 p.m. LEINANI HULA GROUP
Nobuo Utsugi, Director; Mariko Utsugi, Hula Instructor
1 p.m. RYUSEI HONRYU RYUKO KAI
Mitsuko Toguchi Nakasone, Kaishu
1:30 p.m. AFUSO-RYU GENSEI KAI HAWAII SHIBU / RYUKYU KOTEN AFUSO-RYU ONGAKU KENKYU CHOICHI KAI
Grant Murata, Chapter President
2 p.m. HAWAII EISA CHIMUGUKURU TAIKO
Van Shimabukuro, President
2:30 p.m. JIMPU KAI USA, KIN RYOSHO RYUKYU GEINO KENKYUSHO
Cheryl Yoshie Nakasone, Artistic Director
3 p.m. OKINAWA MINYO KYOKAI HAWAII / URIZUN MINYO GROUP
Derek Ichiro Shiroma, Sensei
3:30 p.m. RYUKYU KOBUDO TAIKO HAWAII SHIBU
Calvin Nakama, Director
4 p.m. MAMORU MIYAGI & YOKO HIZUKI
5 p.m. KACHASHI
5:30 p.m. BON DANCE
• Hawaii Eisa Shinyuu Kai — Melissa Uyeunten, President
• Hawaii Shin Kobukai — Betty Dela Cuesta, Head Instructor
• Iwakuni Odori Aiko Kai — Dennis Kanemori, President
• Aiea Taiheiji Yagura Gumi — Todd Imamura, President
• Young Okinawans of Hawaii — David Miyashiro, President
10:30 p.m. LAST SHUTTLE BUS to Kapiolani Community College
SUNDAY, SEPT. 4, 2011 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
9 a.m. PAUAHI OKINAWA BUYO CLUB
Sally Nakata, Liaison
9:20 a.m. OKINAWA SHORIN-RYU — SHINDEN RYU KARATE DOJO
Mitchel Shimamura Sensei
9:50 a.m. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
10:20 a.m. 2011 HAWAII HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT EXCHANGE GROUP
10:30 a.m. CHINAGU EISA HAWAII
Lisa Tamashiro, President
11 a.m. NAKASONE DANCE ACADEMY, HOOGE-RYU HANANUZI NO KAI
Lynne Y. Nakasone, Director and Grand Master
11:30 a.m. SHINSATO SHOSEI KAI
Katsumi Shinsato Sensei
Noon HUI OKINAWA KOBUDO TAIKO
Troy Sakihara, Leader
12:30 p.m. MAJIKINA HONRYU BUYO DOJO
Yoshino Majikina Nakasone, Instructor
1 p.m. NIDAIME TEISHIN KAI HAWAII SHIBU AND HUOA SANSHIN CLASS
Dexter Teruya, Chapter President
1:30 p.m. TAMAGUSUKU RYU SENJU KAI — FRANCES NAKACHI RYUBU DOJO
Frances Nakachi, Artistic Director
2 p.m. KYOKO TOMA FAMILY MINYO GROUP
2:30 p.m. HCCU TEXTING CONTEST
3 p.m. YUI NO BUYO GROUP, OKINAWA MINBU KYOKAI
Kiyoshi Miyagi, President
3:30 p.m. HCCU TEXTING CONTEST
4 p.m. YOKO HIZUKI AND MAMORU MIYAGI
5 p.m. KACHASHI
6 p.m. LAST SHUTTLE BUS to Kapiolani Community College
ENTERTAINERS FROM OKINAWA
LEINANI HULA GROUP — Saturday, Sept. 3 at 2:30 p.m.
The Leinani Hula Group last performed at the Okinawan Festival in 2007. They return to share their love of hula with the Hawaii audience.
MAMORU MIYAGI — Saturday, Sept. 3, at 4 p.m.
Mamoru Miyagi, one of Okinawa’s most talented shimauta (island song) singers and an audience favorite, makes his fourth Okinawan Festival appearance. Miyagi is a native of Yaeyama, the island group located south of the main island of Okinawa. His lyrics, many of them written in Yaeyama dialect, speak of the beauty and his love for his island home.
YOKO HIZUKI — Saturday, Sept. 3, at 4:30 p.m.
The Kobe-born Hizuki joined Mamoru Miyagi’s studio in 2008 after falling in love with Okinawa. Prior to that, Hizuki performed with other bands in Japan. She is a regular host of the Hai Sai Kobe weekly show on Radio Kansai.
KYOKO TOMA MINYOU FAMILY GROUP — Sunday, Sept. 4, 3 p.m.
The Kyoko Toma Family Minyou Group will make its Okinawan Festival debut. This multigenerational uta-sanshin (singing while playing sanshin) group is led by Kyoko Toma on sanshin with her daughter Sumika Miyagi on taiko and her granddaughters, 10-year-old Madoka Miyagi and 6-year-old Shieru Miyagi on sanshin. This group performs at various festivals and events in Okinawa.
Closing out the segment will be minbu dances by the Yuino Buyo Group led by Kiyoshi Miyagi. Minbu dances combine minyo folk style with classical buyo style of dance.
OKINAWAN FESTIVAL MENU
Festival organizers are always dreaming up new ideas to add to the festival menu. This year, there are two new offerings on the menu: TACO RICE and the FUNDAGI.
Taco rice, which was invented in Okinawa, combines the main ingredients of the Tex-Mex taco, but is layered on a bed of rice. It’s perfect for people who like to try a little of everything.
The other new item, Fundagi, is a spin-off of the funnel-cake. It’s made with a special blend of andagi batter and is lightly dusted with powdered sugar. The Fundagi will be available for purchase during the Saturday night bon dance.
Besides these two new items, the Festival will feature its regular favorites:
ANDAGI / ANDADOG: The andagi, or Okinawan doughnut, is an all-around Festival favorite. It’s made with basic doughnut ingredients, such as sugar, flour, milk and eggs, which are mixed into a batter and deep-fried in hot oil. The Andadog is the Okinawan version of a corndog. A whole hot dog on a stick is dipped into andagi batter and deep-fried.
CHAMPURU PLATE: A healthy plate lunch: vegetables and agedofu (deep-fried tofu) are stir-fried champuru-style and served with hot rice, shoyu pork and a pork and miso garnish called andamisu.
OKIDOG: A hotdog and chili are wrapped in a soft tortilla with shredded shoyu pork and lettuce.
OKINAWA SOBA: Okinawan-style soba noodles served in hot soup and garnished with kamaboko (fishcake), shoyu pork, green onions and red ginger.
PIG’S FEET SOUP: It’s called ashitibichi in Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan language). Pig’s feet and spareribs are cooked in a soup stock and garnished with konbu (seaweed), daikon (radish), togan (squash) and mustard cabbage — and served with hot rice.
YAKISOBA: Okinawan-style soba noodles stir-fried with vegetables and luncheon meat and a special chef’s sauce.
CHICKEN PLATE: Barbeque chicken prepared local-style and served with hot rice and corn, or you can get just chicken in a carry-out bag.
CHILI AND RICE / CHILI FRANK PLATE: Take your pick — chili and rice in a bowl, or a chili and rice plate served with a hot dog.
MAKI SUSHI: Sushi sliced for easy eating — available at the Chicken Plate booth, Okinawa Soba booth and Country Store.
YAKITORI STICK: Skewered chicken grilled to perfection with a touch of teriyaki sauce.
SHAVE ICE: The perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day.
CULTURAL TENT (Organized by Hui O Laulima)
Visit the Cultural Tent to learn more about Okinawan culture. This year’s Cultural Tent will highlight the long-ago custom of tattooing Okinawan women (see The Hawai‘i Herald’s cover story in this issue). Visitors can also create their own tattoo.
And there’s more . . .
• Okinawan musicians sharing their talents on their favorite musical instruments throughout the day.
• Floral arrangements by students of Nobuko Kida-Sensei’s Ikenobo Ikebana School will be on display.
• Okinawan bingata kimono and paranku drummer outfits will be available for dress-up and picture-taking on Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Pictures start at $30 (for 8- x 10-inch), with an extra $5 charge for each additional person in the photo.
• Okinawan Genealogical Society members will be on-hand with information on how to get started in tracing your roots. If you would like to have your name or a proverb written in the elegant Japanese brush painting, stop by the calligraphy table. Also, to learn some Okinawan words and phrases, visit the table staffed by students in HUOA’s Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan language) class.
• If you would like to further your knowledge of Okinawan history and culture, Hui O Laulima will be selling its cultural cookbook, “Chimugukuru,” and “Uchinanchu: The History of Okinawans in Hawaii,” which was published by University of Hawaii Press.
“LIVING SPIRIT” DEBUTS AT OKINAWAN FESTIVAL
The Okinawan Festival is an opportunity to awaken the senses — to see, hear, taste, smell and feel the pulse of this vibrant cultural community. The festival is also a chance to delve into the history and cultural legacy of Okinawa and the Okinawans in Hawai‘i through the written word.
The University of Hawai‘i’s Mänoa Journal will be debuting its latest book, “Living Spirit: Literature and Resurgence in Okinawa,” in the festival’s Cultural Tent. The volume was guest-edited by Katsunori Yamazato, professor of American literature and culture at the University of the Ryükyüs. Yamazato, who was born and raised in Okinawa, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa and his doctorate from the University of California at Davis. Yamazato and Mänoa Journal series editor Frank Stewart co-edited the 2009 Mänoa Journal volume, “Voices from Okinawa,” featuring works by Hawai‘i writers of Okinawan ancestry. “Voices” and the just-released “Living Spirit” will be available for purchase for $20 each at the UH Center for Okinawan Studies table in the Cultural Tent. Additionally, Yamazato and Stewart will be on hand to sign books and answer questions about this fascinating literature.
The following is an excerpt of Professor Yamazato’s Editor’s Note in “Living Spirit.”
“Living Spirit: Literature and Resurgence in Okinawa” is a collection of extraordinary literary works from the Ryükyüs, most of which have never been translated into English, or are newly translated for this volume. The selections range from the oldest poetry born in the islands to contemporary prose and poetry.
The publication of “Living Spirit” is another important step in the resurgence of Okinawan literature that began in the 1960s. Together with the book’s 2009 sister volume, “Voices from Okinawa” — a collection of plays and essays by Okinawan Americans — “Living Spirit” displays the richness and beauty of a literature that has been relatively unnoticed for far too long. For example, despite the fact that Okinawan authors have been awarded Japan’s highest literary award, the Akutagawa Prize, Okinawan writing has been largely marginalized or subsumed in the larger category of Japanese literature. Okinawan literature, however, is not a subordinate category but a literature with its own history, traditions and sensibilities. It stands on an equal basis with Japanese and other world literatures. “Living Spirit” is an invitation for English-speaking readers to experience the many strengths and surprises of Okinawan writing in several genres.
In addition to Okinawan prose and poetry, “Living Spirit” offers another treasure from the Ryükyüs: a series of remarkable photographs by Higa Yasuo. For over three decades, Higa studied the ancient and sacred religious festivals of Okinawa and was able to record cultural practices that, unfortunately, are rapidly disappearing. These foundational rituals preserve the essence of Okinawan culture, temperament, and ways of being in the world, and Higa’s images are therefore a vital complement to the work of Okinawan authors. — Katsunori Yamazato