Chinen Rina in Mary Poppins Musical

via Horipro

Chinen Rina to play the role of Winifred Banks in the musical “Mary Poppins” that will be performed at the Umeda Arts Theater in Osaka in May and June 2022. This month (October) also happens to mark Rina’s 25th year in the entertainment industry! To celebrate the milestone Sony Records has released all 81 of Rina’s Sony-era songs worldwide.

NHK’s 2022 Morning Drama “Chimudondon” Starts Filming

via Twitter

We’re really excited to see how Luchu and its people are portrayed in this upcoming drama from NHK called “Chimudondon” based on the life of Higa Nobuko. The heroine (pictured above) of the drama is played by Kuroshima Yuina and is set to air in the Spring 2022 TV season. And in case you’re wondering about the theme song, it hasn’t been announced yet so we still have hope that it’ll be an artist from Luchu.

Nakamura Natsuki Trio

via Twitter

Nakamura Natsuki recently shared the amazing album art from her trio’s upcoming 4-song release. The trio (Natsuki Trio) was formed on June 23rd for live performance on Irei no Hi. The chemistry between the musicians must have been great as they’re now recording songs that Natsuki describes as a champuru (mix) of Luchu folk and jazz music. We can’t wait to listen to it!

Awich’s “Queendom” EP Gets Postponed

via Twitter

Announced on Awich’s Twitter is the postponement of her upcoming EP “Queendom” due to production reasons (no doubt due to the pandemic). The EP was set to be released on the 24th of this month but at least she was able to get out her new single “Kuchi ni Dashite” (album art is featured above) which was released on 8/27. She’ll keep us updated as soon as a date is confirmed.

November 1st is Luchu History & Culture Day

via Website

November 1st is designated as Luchu History and Culture Day (琉球歴史文化の日) and a special website has been created that has information on workshops and special contests. For the contest portion, the logo mark design has already been decided but there are three other contests that run until the end of the month (9/30 Uchinaa time):

  • 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-roku Ryūka and use Shimakutuba.

The bad news? Most of the website (except for the Kajadifu contest page) is only available in Japanese (at this time). So here’s the English translation of the website using Google Translate. Chibariyo to everyone entering the contest and leave a comment if you’re participating.

Gackt’s Activities Suspended Indefinitely

Gackt in Uchinaa (Gackt’s YouTube Channel)

His latest video on his YouTube channel was over 4 weeks ago and with his uploads being quite regular, it was strange to not see any new content from him. Reported on 9/8 on Gackt’s website, we finally found out the reason behind his absence:

As far as the information regarding this situation, after returning to Japan on August 6th, we have been contacted by GACKT saying that he is “unwell”. After a while, his condition suddenly worsened. His early onset neurological disease was triggered and at this point it progressed into a life-threatening condition.

https://gackt.com/contents/454205

As you can see from reading the above announcement, many fans were shocked to find out about his “life-threatening” condition. Fortunately (but not yet out of the woods), Gackt made a statement of his own that sheds more light on his condition leading up to the indefinite suspension of his activities:

This is GACKT.
I made all of you worry.
Thank you for so many messages.
It’s ok, I’m still alive.  Ahaha

https://gackt.com/contents/454212

We wish Gackt a speedy recovery!

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.