World Sanshin Festival

For the first time, a World Sanshin Festival will be held in the fall to coincide with the 7th Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival (10/30 to 11/3). Looks like they’ll do a “tour festival” in an effort to reduce crowds due to the ongoing pandemic and the World Sanshin Festival will be held every five years after the 2025 WUF. If you’re interested in learning more about the different genres of our music and looking to buy a sanshin (it sounds like sanshin makers/stores will be participating in the festival), this is the event to go to.

World Sanshin Festival PR Movie

14th Okinawa International Movie Festival 4/16 to 4/17

14th Okinawa International Movie Festival Poster

The 2022 Okinawa International Movie Festival (OIMF) is set for 4/16 to 4/17! Like last year, they’ll also be streaming a select number of films online but you’ll need to create a FANY ID (see their website for more details). The top film for this year’s festival is the documentary “Murasaki” (about the legendary rock band) which will be its world premiere and hot on the heels of the hit movie “Miracle City Koza”.

14th Okinawa International Movie Festival Trailer

For the free online films, one we’d recommend watching is “Minami no Shima no Furimun” which was directed by Gori (Garage Sale) and happened to be in the lineup for the 1st OIMF!

Winning Logo & Slogan for the 7th Worldwide Uchinānchu Festival

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.”

via wuf2022.com

“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.

2nd Okinawan FEASTival

We’re so happy to see a return of Shari’s Okinawan FEASTival! This year it’s running from September 1st to the 14th and there’s a lot of food 🍱 and drink 🍺 to be excited about. 😋

From the opening of American Cafe in 1923 to today, there has been over 350 Okinawan owned restaurants in Hawaii. Most of the original restaurants have closed but there is a new generation operating today. In the spirit of Yuimaaru (communities supporting one another, especially in times of need), we are asking the community to help support these local Okinawan owned restaurants. This year, FEASTival is teaming up with the Okinawan Festival! Festival will be virtual this year at okinawanfestival.com on  September 4th & 5th.

https://www.hawaiiokinawans.com/about

Be sure to check out the website’s FEASTival Specials page as there are limited time specials that can be pre-ordered. Be sure not to miss the handy text-only timeline version Shari created so you won’t miss out any specials.

New HUOA Merch for the Okinawan Festival

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.

Remote Eisaa Festival 2020 Rebroadcast

via Twitter

With the cancellation of this year’s eisaa festivities, Campus Records is rebroadcasting their Remote Eisaa Festival 2020 on their YouTube channel! They have also launched a Remote Eisaa Festival website with an online store (sadly, no overseas shipping) and are accepting donations (“throwing money”).

Speaking of Campus Records, they’ve been releasing a lot of great content on their YouTube channel so be sure to subscribe.

66th All-Island Eisa Festival Canceled

It was scheduled to take place on August 28 to 29 so many of us were happy to see the festival back on-track but on July 21 the organizers have decided to cancel it due to the pandemic. It’s sad to see it canceled again but it’s for everyone’s safety as the organizers felt that it would be difficult to take preventative measures. https://www.zentoeisa.com/news/21-151500.html

In the meantime, the film “Eisa Don Don” is still available for VOD on YouTube until August 31.

2021 Virtual Okinawan Festival

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.

https://www.okinawanfestival.com

They also have a presale for this year’s festival merchandise at https://shophuoa.com. Presale ends July 24th so don’t miss out!

(h/t JTB USA Honolulu)

25th Ryukyu Festival 2021

via M&I

If there’s one concert you need to go to it’s this one so you’re fortunate if you live in Japan because the 25th Ryukyu Festival 2021 is taking place on October 17th at the Hibiya Open-Air Concert Hall. The list of performers is incredible.

  • Daiku Tetsuhiro and Daiku Naeko
  • DIAMANTES
  • Parsha cluB — my favorite band!
  • Yonaha Tooru and his band
  • Kamiya Chihiro — she has a new album for 2021!
  • and the announcer is Garage Sale — 🤩

Tickets go on sale June 28th! Check the M&I website’s Ryukyu Festival page for more details. I really hope they’ll stream this too.

BEGIN’s Uta no Hi Concert 2021

We’re sad that BEGIN’s song festival “Uta no Hi” was postponed due to the pandemic restrictions so instead they’ve gone to YouTube and social media (LINE, Facebook, and Twitter) . For 9 days (started on June 19th) they will have a special stream available from 9PM and will also release videos from their catalog. Each day will feature a song(s) or a special video: For example, “Shimanchu nu Takara” was day one’s special and the band released 8 video clips on YouTube. Looks like they’ve disabled sharing the videos outside of YouTube 😤 so here’s the link to their channel: BEGIN ch.

Check out their website for the “Uta no Hi Concert 2021 Postponement Special” schedule.