Model/singer/entrepreneur/actress and now film director Miyagi Karin’s “Chimuganasa” 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!
Brandon Ufugusuku Ing has a new song out “Hamachiduri”! The song, an arrangement of the traditional Okinawan song, features the talented Derek Fujio and Jesse Shiroma. After hearing this song a few months ago, we were wondering when Brandon would release it and it’s finally here! Be sure to pick this one up as well as his other songs.
And… an English subtitled version has been released for 2022! 🥳
Irei Shunichi’s first album in TEN years is out! It’s called “Nangoku Beat” (tropical beat) and the emphasis is on the beat as the songs on the album have a nice groove to them. “Nangoku Beat” has a total of 8 tracks and is currently available on Apple Music. We’re totally grooving to the title track “Nangoku Beat” and the beautiful “Precious Days”. John Potter at Power of Okinawa has an amazing review of the album as well as an artist profile that’s a must-read.
In the “We can’t believe this is available” department comes a strangely named website called “Okinawa Live Show” from the Okinawa Prefectural Government. Don’t let the name fool you as this is an amazing resource of English-subtitled videos (also available on their YouTube channel) of Luchuan traditional performing arts like Okinawa Shibai, Kumiudui, Ryukyu Buyou, Okinawa Minyou, and Eisaa. There’s a lot of content available so if we can make a suggestion, start with the kumiudui “Shushin Kaneiri” which is one of our favorites!
(h/t @JTBUSA_Honolulu on Twitter)
Singer-songwriter Oshiro Takafumi (of the disbanded vocal group Sky’s The Limit) released his first best of album “Rissyunnotoki” this year through his crowdfunding project. The double CD has a total of 23 tracks and is available on digital streaming services too. Of particular interest to us is his antiwar song “1972” which was composed by sanshin artist Maeda Hideyuki also of Sky’s The Limit.
Oshiro Takafumi’s “1972”
Singer MATSURI has been slowly rolling out new songs and she finally released her new mini album “Harenohi” (not to be confused with the single of the same name) in April. “Harenohi” features a total of 7 tracks and includes previously released singles “Kingyo Sukui” (her debut song), “Hotaru” and “Harenohi”. MATSURI also announced the upcoming 6/24 release of her 5th single “52Hz no Kujira”.
Originally released in 1992, the legendary Okinawan film “Pineapple Tours” was given a digital remaster as well as a theatrical run this month for its 30th anniversary! The film features an almost entire shimanchu cast and crew which was and still is quite amazing for its day. It was the film that sparked a wave of new films filmed in Okinawa that became just a legendary like “Nabbie’s Love“. Let’s hope it’ll see a digital release with English subtitles.
We had this one on our YouTube saved folder and are finally circling back to give it another listen (or several listens 😂). The song is “HiBiKi” by a singer from Ginowan named Higa Yuta. In a tweet announcing the song, he mentions that the song represents him moving forward after making his debut at 22 with a lot of ambition only to find himself facing many unexpected struggles along the way. He chooses to keep singing while raising a child. The song itself is amazing and features the one and only Yonaha Toru on sanshin and vocals.