In the “what can be more Okinawan than” department comes something so spectacular (and colorful) from the Sanshin Partners Project: Sanshin with designs from 39 different awamori breweries! You can now sip your favorite (or your favorites) awamori while playing with the bottlesanshin that looks just like it! The 88,800 Yen (ones with a semi-hard case are available for 93,500 Yen) sanshin are being sold online and comes with a special sticker set and a special cloth bag that aren’t available separately. We’ve ordered from the store many times and they also offer online classes from top sensei of shimauta and classical music. Be sure to check them out and let us know in the comments if you bought one!
We have yet to see actress Kuroshima Yuina in the most anticipated TV drama series of 2022, “Chimudondon“, but that doesn’t mean she’s not doing other work and in the film “Akegata no Wakamono-tachi” we see her showing a mature side and her amazing acting talent. See the film’s trailer below for a preview:
Ishigaki-based Singer-songwriter Meli Araki released her first amazing single “Este Mar” (This Sea) back in September 2021 and it’s sung in both Japanese and Spanish (she’s nikkei from Peru). The song is available on all streaming platforms and she also has a wonderful acoustic version called “Este Mar (Emerald Heart Version)”. Be sure to add both versions to your playlist!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tink Tink (tinku tinku) have been quite active on their (and Rinken Band) YouTube channel. On 1/15 the quartet will be releasing a new album called “Chaabiratai” that’s available for purchase on the Ajima online store. The new album has a total of 12 tracks and costs 3,000 Yen. The availability on streaming platforms has been a bit hit-and-miss so your best bet is to seek out the physical copy.
The theme song for the 7th Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival has been chosen and it’s “Utarana, Udurana” an uptempo pop song by Green Note Coaster, a band from Okinawa. Now that the song has been chosen, it would be awesome to hear the other submissions too. Good luck to Green Note Coaster and we’ll definitely be adding the song to our playlists!
One area where the language and culture of Ryukyu is being kept alive is in its performing arts through music and dance. One of the annual events to showcase the arts is the “Shinshun Minyou Kouhaku Uta Gassen” broadcasted by RBC (Ryukyu Broadcasting Corporation). To celebrate the show’s 60th anniversary, Kita no Akainku is sharing 4 airings starting with the 20th show from 1982, the 30th show from 1992, the 40th show from 2002, and the 50th show from 2016. The shows will only be up till 2/28 21:00 (Okinawa time) so please don’t miss them! Also, be sure to read the show notes as there is important information regarding the program.
MATSURI has a new single (her 4th digital one) “Harenohi” set for a 2/11 release. To commemorate its release, she will be performing the song live ahead of its release date today (1/3) at Okinogu Shrine and it will also be live-streamed on her YouTube channel.
Actress Toma Ami (15) will be making her TBS drama debut on the show “Tsuma, Shougakusei ni Naru.” that’s set to start on 1/21. After having been scouted on Okinawa in October 2020 and making her CM debut as an actress for Recruit’s commercial (shown above) in July 2021, Ami has landed her first drama playing the role of Izumo Rion (a middle schooler who is a novelist). Every actress from Okinawa has hit it big so we wish the same for Ami!