Less than a week to go to help back artist Nami Oshiro’s Kickstarter project “Crossing Cats: Enamel Pins!“. As the name of the Kickstarter hints at, the enamel pins are inspired by our favorite game Animal Crossing! Here’s an excerpt about the project:
Hello! I’m Nami, and I design cat pins. I’ve spent the past few years making designs for every single cat from a certain beloved video game about cute animals, and now I’d like to turn as many of them as I can into enamel pins for everyone to enjoy!
We will take a brief dive into the elements surrounding this incredible unique land, people, and culture through the the lenses of authors Akemi Johnson, Night in the American Village, and Elizabeth Miki Brina, Speak, Okinawa, in a conversation moderated by Mariko Middleton of the Ichariba Choodee: Okinawan Voices and Stories Podcast. We’ll talk about identity, inspiration, history, and inquire into the future of Okinawa, concluding with hopes and dreams.
October 30th is World Uchinānchu Day and to celebrate there will be a two-part live talk show with special guests Alberto Shiroma (Diamantes) and entertainer Ryuchell. The talk show will be an in-person event (subject to change) and it will also be live-streamed! It looks like the talk show is being produced by the same team behind the 7th Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival so they will also be doing a presentation and award ceremony for its official theme song. We’ve been waiting to see/hear the official theme song and to see who the lucky musician is. Here’s a link (YouTube) to last year’s event.
In 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa, the Himeyuri Student Corps were mobilized as assistant nurses. This exhibition, “Himeyuri and Hawaii,” is an examination of the various relationships that exist between Himeyuri and the people of Hawaii over the years, even as it tells the story of the Himeyuri students. Herein you will learn about the Himeyuri and the ties that they—and their homeland—share with Hawaii.
Just to highlight the special part of this exhibition is that they’re using a special Twitter account, a special website (using dot-com nonetheless), information is also available in English, and you’ll be able to view the special exhibition on their website.
Photo & Catchcopy Contest is open to children enrolled in elementary, junior high, high school, and special schools in Uchinaa.
Kajadifu Video Contest is open to all Uchinānchu and they’re looking for video performances of “Kajadifu” (YouTubers Ryukatsutyu has a perfect example of this) showcasing the scenery from your part of the world. A special note to add that you will be using their recording of “Kajadifu” that can be downloaded on the contest’s webpage. Even if you don’t participate in the contest, be sure to download the song as it’s an amazing recording by Higa Yasuharu-shinshii (Ryūkyū Koten Ongaku Nomura-ryū Hozonkai).
Ryūka Contest looks like it’s open to all Uchinānchu (although it’s not clearly stated) and the rules are simple since it has to be a san-pachi-rokuRyūka and use Shimakutuba.
Wow. This music video and song is a lot of fun! MC Gosamaru’s “Nakagusuku-son In The House” is an Uchinaa-rap song and also features the amazing Yonaha Toru on sanshin. The single is also available on music streaming services.
The new logo and slogan for next year’s Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival have been revealed! The winning logo is by Chinen Hitoshi from Urasoe City which he describes as “This work expresses the shapes of Uchinānchu active inside and outside of the Prefecture, and overseas, gathering in their homeland of Okinawa and dancing with joy. The colorful colors create the image of the many colors of national flags from around the world and people enjoying the festival.”
“The Uchinā Shinka, Now is the Time for us to Connect to the World” is the winning slogan by Maeshiro Kanae of Naha City which she describes as “The word Shinka means Nakama ‘friends’ in the Okinawan dialect, and that the Shinka who form the Worldwide Uchinā Network are its true value. I included the message that now is the time during the COVID-19 to connect with other people, and that through the Uchinānchu Festival, Shinka around the world can connect with each other and develop further.” (And yes, the word dialect (Okinawa no hougen) was used instead of our language (Uchināguchi). Sigh.)
They received a total of 129 logo entries and 311 slogan entries from overseas, Uchinā, and Yamatu. Next up is the announcement for the Theme Song Contest (we’re excited about this one!) and the Art Contest.
It’ll be a virtual festival again this year but we can still show our support by purchasing from the Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s official store shophuoa.com. On Friday, September 3rd at 8 AM Hawaii time, they’ll be selling all new festival merchandise and t-shirts so be sure to set your alarm so you don’t miss out!. They may have already given us a sneak peek at what may be coming with the announcement of the 2021 festival design contest winner.
The Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s (HUOA) popular Okinawan Festival will sadly be virtual again this year but we’re still excited for it. They also have a t-shirt design contest going on that ends July 19th (check out their website for more details). Looks like for this year they’ll even be doing smaller in-person events and we loved the Okinawan FEASTival from last year so it’s great that they’re continuing it. This year it will take place on September 4th and 5th so be sure to subscribe to their YouTube channel to catch the virtual festivities.
We learned a lot in 2020 as we created our first ever Virtual Okinawan Festival. This year, we will continue our virtual format for the continued safety of our community. HUOA will continue to strive to bring you the best our culture has to offer with all the entertainment, singing, dancing, interviews and fun videos from the comfort of your own home. We will also be celebrating Okinawan FEASTival and encourage you to pre-order food from your favorite Okinawan-owned restaurant.
In an effort to elevate the experience, we will also have a number of drive-through food orders and small in-person events. Be sure to check with your HUOA club and this website for more details.