HIFF Eat.Drink.Film 2021 Showcase Series

Shogen 尚玄

No, we’re not getting a film from Okinawa but we do have an actor from Okinawa who is starring in director Yoshida Kota’s Sexual Drive. Fashion model and actor Shogen stars in the film and many may recognize him as Raye Penber from the 2015 Death Note TV series. He has an impressive filmography and is currently in the Philippines to finish filming Gensan Punch.

A Japanese triptych about sex, aphrodisiac foods and secret desires.

via IFFR 2021
“Sexual Drive” trailer

Sexual Drive will be available for streaming from June 10-20. It’s not my kind of film but I’ll likely watch it for Shogen.

7th World Uchinanchu Festival

The 7th World Uchinanchu Festival has a date set! It will take place in 2022 from October 31st to November 3rd (note the website counts October 30th as the Festival eve).

The “World Uchinanchu Festival” honors the achievements of Okinawan people from all over the world, recognises the great value of the community heritage of Okinawa , and seeks to expand and develop the Uchina network through exchanges with Okinawan citizens around the world. The purpose is to bring people together, reaffirm their roots and identity, and thereby be able to pass them on to the next generation.

The festival is sponsored by the Uchinanchu Festival Executive Committee of the world, which is organized by Okinawa Prefecture and related organizations, and has been held approximately once every five years since the first festival in 1990 (Heisei 2). It has been held 6 times so far.

https://wuf2022.com/en/about
WUF Promotion Video

JTB has a newsletter you can sign up to for tour package information. They will have escorted group tours and are also able to help you plan for individual travel packages too. Check out their link for more details.

Follow WUF 2022 on Twitter for the latest updates.

Event: 3rd Eisa Drum Festival at Kapi’olani Community College on May 11th

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3rd Eisa Drum Festival at Kapi’olani Community College on May 11th
A Celebration of Okinawan Culture with Drums, Lions, Music, and Karate

Kapi’olani Community College and the Office of Student Activities are pleased to present the third Eisa Drum Festival on Saturday, May 11 from 5:30 to 9 pm, on the Great Lawn (center of campus). The outdoor festival brings together ‘ono food prepared by Kapi’olani CC culinary program and the spectacular art form of taiko performed amid the beauty of Diamond Head under the stars. The program begins at 6 pm. The event is free and open to the public, with ample parking on campus.

Performers include Chinagu Eisa Hawai’i, Hawai’i Okinawa Creative Arts, Hawai’i Taiko Kai, Okinawa Shorin-Ryu Karate and Urizun Minyo Group. This year’s festival also features special guest performers from Okinawa, including Daiichi Hirata, acclaimed producer, choreographer, and musician, as well as members of Requios, the 2012 World Eisa Competition winner.

Eisa is a form of dance and drumming unique to the people of Okinawa. Originally performed as part of a religious function honoring those who have passed, modern Eisa is an exhilarating combination of singing, chanting, dancing and drumming. In Okinawa and Hawai’i, Eisa continues to be performed at Bon Dances. This year’s festival will feature contemporary styles of drumming, with Okinawan taiko, karate, lions, and contemporary folk music.

“The first two festivals have been described as ‘magical’ and we hope to continue that tradition in our third year,” said Shari Tamashiro, Kapi’olani CC Cybrarian, and one of the coordinators of the festival. “We’re also very pleased to have celebrity chef instructor Grant Sato and Kapi’olani CC’s famous culinary program managing the food booths.”

“The bringing together of Island People, Daiichi Hirata from Okinawa and Kawika Napoleon from Hawai’i, was so dynamic. . . it brought forth a sense of joy and pride from within,” said Dorene Niibu of Windard CC.

“When I think of Eisa Fest, I think of it as the first major event of the summer,” said Jonathan Wong, faculty member at Kapi’olani CC. “To me, it signals that summer is here and what better way to start the summer off with a bang than with drums, food, music and stars.”

Enjoy an evening under the stars. Bring lawn chairs to sit on, blankets, and jackets. Up to date information on program, schedule, parking, maps, and food items on sale will be posted at http://www.facebook.com/eisahawaii. Alcohol is strictly prohibited at the event.

To see videos of the 2nd Eisa Festival, go to: http://bit.ly/17quWKz. For photos, go to: http://smu.gs/Z4Mpbj.

Event: 2nd Eisa Drum Festival in Hawaii

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WHAT? 2nd Eisa Drum Festival

WHEN? Saturday, May 12, 2012

TIME? 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm

WHERE? Great Lawn, Kapiolani Community College

Kapiolani Community College and the Office of Student Activities are pleased to announce that the 2nd Eisa Drum Festival will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012 on the Great Lawn at the center of our campus.

Program will begin at 5:30 pm and conclude with a grand finale at 9 pm. Food sales will begin at 5 pm. The event is FREE and open to the public.

WHAT IS EISA? Eisa is a form of dance and drumming unique to Okinawa. The Eisa Drum Festival seeks to celebrate and develop an appreciation for this little known form of drumming in Hawaii. There will be a spectrum of Eisa, ranging from traditional dances to contemporary styles.

WHY IS THIS FESTIVAL SPECIAL? The festival will feature the largest gathering of Eisa drummers in Hawaii, all uniting for a spectacular grand finale. We hope to have over 100 performers all drumming together. There will be a gathering of the Shisa (Okinawan Lion Dogs).

There will also be a special guest performer. The acclaimed artist, choreographer, director, and one of my favorite performers Daiichi Hirata is traveling all the way from Okinawa to participate in Eisa Festival!

Performers include: Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, Hawaii Eisa Shinyuu Kai, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko, and the Young Okinawans of Hawaii with Paranku Clubs of Hawaii, Taiko Center of the Pacific, Urizun Minyo Group, and Kawika Napoleon.

Enjoy live music under the stars. Bring lawn chairs to sit on, blankets, and jackets. Parking is free. Alcohol is strictly prohibited. Parking Map of campus.

FOOD! The majority of the food on sale will be prepared by Chef Grant Sato and Chef Dave Hamada of KCC’s culinary program. Special desserts provided by the KCC Slow Food Club. There will be rafute, kabocha, miso eggplant, special bento, yakisoba, andagi and more! Check out the Okinawan sweet potato bread pudding and “Goya Popper.” Full list of items for sale and descriptions will be posted shortly at www.facebook.com/eisahawaii

Up-to-date information on program, schedule, parking, maps, and food items on sale will be posted at www.facebook.com/eisahawaii

The 1st Eisa Drum Festival was a truly magical event. We were blessed with amazing performances and an incredible crowd. To see videos and photos from the 1st festival, please visit: www.pigsfromthesea.com

(h/t Shari)

Event: Sennin no Sanshin (Hawaii)

Okinawan musical instrument, Sanshin players can be a part of the 17th Honolulu Festival Grand Parade!

The grand marshal will be Sanshin Master Choichi Terukina-sensei, a National Living Treasure of Japan. Let’s join the parade with Terukina-sensei and play his composition “Mensore.”

The goal of SENNIN NO SANSHIN Project is to have as many sanshin players as possible to participate in this parade.

We want 1,000 sanshin players from Hawaii, mainland USA and Okinawa! […]

(Via Honolulu Festival.)

The awesome thing? They’re serious about having anyone with a sanshin join in by making available the music and kunkunshi of the song. You’ll find them here along with video tutorials. Way to go, guys! (How about having the video available in other formats besides WMV too? People on smartphones will thank you for it.)

HIFF 30: 2 Films, 2 Actresses from Okinawa

The Hawaii International Film Festival gets underway from October 14th to the 24th and we’re in for a treat as they’re screening two films that feature actresses from Okinawa.


Official Website

“Abacus and Sword (武士の家計簿 Bushi no Kakeibo)” (Japan, 2010) stars Yukie Nakama and will be shown on 10/23/10 at 8:45 PM and on 10/24/10 at 12:30 PM. (Visit HIFF’s page for the film for more info.)


Official Website

“Hanamizuki (ハナミズキ)” (Japan, 2010) stars Yui Aragaki and will be shown on 10/23/10 at 1:00 PM and on 10/24/10 at 5:00 PM. (Visit HIFF’s page for the film for more info — they also have a trailer up on their website.) Check out the film’s official website which has several wallpapers for the film available for download (unfortunately, none feature Yui Aragaki). The song, “Hanamizuki,” which Yui covers from Yo Hitoto, is on Yui’s latest album “Niji,” released on 9/22/10.

Tickets are already on sale if you’re a HIFF member with tickets for the general public going on sale from October 4th. Why not guarantee your ticket now by joining the HIFF Ohana?

Toru Yonaha on YouTube

I’m loving this so much that I want to share this short video of the song “Urazagwaa” featuring Toru Yonaha and Mayumi Yamakawa. Clip is from tadaitsu’s YouTube channel shot at this year’s Koza Terurin Matsuri.

If you can handle the shaky camera work, the next video features Misako Koja and Toru Yonaha singing Koja’s “Warabigami” shot at last year’s Shinjuku Eisa Matsuri. At least the sound quality is pretty decent.

And finally, Toru jamming his “Chatan Meekata” with backup by singer Mika Uchizato.

More videos on YouTube with Toru Yonaha can be found here.

2nd annual Okinawa International Movie Festival red carpet

This is from a few months back but it’s still awesome nonetheless. Garage Sale make an appearance but perhaps the largest excitement was when special guest Namie Amuro walked the red carpet. The Okinawa International Movie Festival is an annual event that takes place at the ending of March.

Lots of great videos like this are available on The Okinawa Times’s YouTube channel.

Seibun Tokuhara, Johnny Ginowan, hirara to perform at the Okinawan Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

We’re just about two weeks away from the 27th annual Okinawan Festival held in Honolulu, Hawaii, and like every year the event features several guest artists/groups from Okinawa. Performing at this year’s event is utasaa (Okinawa folk singer) Seibun Tokuhara, one of the top musicians of Ryūkyū minyou and classical music in Okinawa, ukulele musician Johnny Ginowan who released his latest album “Waserge” on June 25th, and Miyakojima-born beauty (and she sings!) hirara (who looks to be a fan of K-drama).

Johnny Ginowan’s “Que Sera, Sera”

hirara’s “Tsuki ni Negai o” (CM for Kiku no Tsuyu, a brand of awamori from Miyakojima)

hirara & David Ralston in a Kiku no Tsuyu CM jamming to the Miyakojima folk song “Kanikubata”

You’ll be able to catch hirara’s performance on Saturday, September 5th (scheduled for 3 PM)—don’t forget to bring your camera. Johnny Ginowan and Seibun Tokuhara are scheduled to perform at 12 PM as part of the Radio Okinawa show on Sunday (9/6/09).

27th Annual Okinawan Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

Wow, it’s already that time of year? This year HUOA‘s Okinawan Festival, its 27th year, will take place on September 5th and 6th. As always, it’s a great place to learn more about the Okinawan culture (you’ll still need to check-out Karakui.com for your pop culture fix, tho 😛 ) and other neat stuff like the food booths and local entertainment. Both days are filled with awesome line-ups and the bon dance on Saturday night is always a winner.

More info at the festival website: Okinawan Festival.