Kita no Akainku Shares 4 “Shinshun Minyou Kouhaku Uta Gassen”

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.

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.

RBC Special “Ryukyu Athlete MTG 2021” (Okinawa)

RBC aired a 1-hour special today called “Ryukyu Athlete MTG 2021” (琉球アスリートMTG2021). The TV special features several athletes from Okinawa that will be competing in Tokyo 2020 (now in summer 2021 as it was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The athletes (links to their Wikipedia page if available) featured in the special are Kiyuna Ryo (karate), Arashiro Yukiya (cycling road race), Miyamoto Masanori (weightlifting), Kina Tsubasa (wheelchair marathon), Ikehara Ayaka (handball), Tsuha Hibiki (long jump), and Tome Takanori (canoe).

Let’s give them our support!

Link to RBC’s article.

Kiku TV’s 2021 New Year’s Special Programs (Hawaii)

Although many of us were saddened of Kiku TV’s decision in not picking up the 71st NHK Kouhaku Uta-Gassen, they are showing two special dramas that have actresses from Okinawa featured in them.

The first airs tonight (Saturday, 1/2) and is called The Last Promise (Saigo no Yakusoku) which aired in Japan on January 9, 2010. This special drama stars Kuroki Meisa (2010 is during the height of her popularity and prior to her marriage to Akanishi Jin) as Niimi Yuriko (daughter of the president of Energy Bio Corporation).

The second airs on Wednesday 1/6 and is called Shitto (Jealousy) which aired in Japan on August 16, 2020. This special drama stars Kuninaka Ryoko (of Churasan fame and is married to popular actor Mukai Osamu) as Nagai Fumina.

Link to Kiku TV’s 2021 New Year’s Specials

What to look forward to for this year’s 61st Kouhaku Uta-Gassen

Ah, I remember years past when we could expect to see several artists from or with ties to Okinawa on NHK’s annual music show, “Kouhaku Uta-Gassen” (Red & White Song Battle). For last year’s (60th) show, a lone artist Yusuke Kamiji (performs under his first name, Yusuke) with ties to Okinawa performed and we were fortunate to have actress Yukie Nakama host the show for her third time (2006, 2008 and 2009). Flashback to the 50th show (1999) and the artists who performed included: MAX, Kiroro, SPEED, Namie Amuro, and DA PUMP. And one of my favorites was the 56th (2005) with its Okinawa-theme. Enka singer Yoko Nagayama sang “Bashoufu,” folk singer Ryoko Moriyama sang “Satoukibi Batake,” comedian Gorie (performing with the Red Team) sang “Pecori♥Night,” Rimi Natsukawa returned to sing “Nada Sou Sou” again (she performed the song the previous year), and R&B duo D-51 sang “NO MORE CRY.”

So for this year’s 61st show, who can we look forward to watching? Performing 4th (White Team) is NYC who has a member with ties to Okinawa in Yuri Chinen. Performing 10th (White Team) is the previously mentioned Yusuke. And the band I’m most looking forward to watching this year is HY who are making their first appearance on the show with the powerful song “Toki o Koe.” They’ll be performing 17th (White Team) and I heard they’ll also have eisa drummers backing them up (their website has a link to a live performance of the song). Should be a very good show.

This may end up being our last post for 2010 so we’ll take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy New Year!!! Take care everyone and see you in 2011!

Tokyograph: Manami Higa to star in “Dondo Bare” sequel

NHK is reviving its 2007 morning drama series “Dondo Bare” with a sequel that will be aired as a special program next year. Production on the show was announced at a press conference on Wednesday, attended by the drama’s lead actress, Manami Higa (24). […] (Via Tokyograph.)

We’re big fans of Manami Higa and it’s great that she will be reprising her role in “Dondo Bare.” Thinking back, there was another actress who was the star of an NHK morning drama series (“Churasan” anyone?) who reprised her role several times. (Yep, it’s Ryoko Kuninaka.) Special: Okinawan musicians to follow on Twitter

This is the first in a series of posts featuring people to follow on Twitter (Wikipedia link), the social networking/microblogging service.


@rinkenteruyaRinken Band leader Rinken Teruya. He’ll often reply to @Mentions and tweets quite frequently.

@gerhen_oshimaGerhen Oshima, formerly of TINGARA, Churamana, and Shima Good Needs. His latest project is coco←musika.

@machu34Toru Yonaha updates are becoming more frequent. Go Toru!

@oshimayasukatsuYasukatsu Oshima mostly updates on where he’s playing and I believe it’s not him tweeting but the person who’s in charge of his website.

@kinashoukichiShoukichi Kina last tweeted on 6/23/10! Yeah, that’s like 5 months ago but I guess that’s not too shabby for a 62-year-old.

Music stores and record labels:

@asovivasanshinASOVIVA, a sanshin store

@respectrecordRespect Record, a music label

@takararecordsTakara Records Store, a music store

List compiled on 11/11/10. Have someone you think should be added to this list? Please leave a comment or use our contact form. Special: That actor? He’s from Okinawa.

So here’s my companion to that special I did on actresses from Okinawa back in August 2009. This article will feature actors who were born in Okinawa or who have ties to Okinawa — usually a parent or grandparent who is originally from Okinawa. The list of actors may surprise you as you’ve probably seen them before if you follow J-drama. I hope you enjoy it!

Continue reading “ Special: That actor? He’s from Okinawa.”

Yukie Nakama to star in the TBS’s “Japanese Americans”

This autumn, TBS plans to broadcast a five-episode drama series titled “Japanese Americans.” The drama, an original work by veteran screenwriter Sugako Hashida, focuses on a Japanese family who emigrated to the United States a century ago and lived through World War II. […]

Yukie Nakama (30) plays the heroine as Ichiro’s love interest Shinobu. […]

Filming starts in the next few days and is expected to last five months, including two months of filming in the U.S. Broadcast dates have not yet been set, but it will air this fall as five two-hour episodes on consecutive nights, which is a first for the network. The drama is being labeled as a special project in honor of TBS’s 60th anniversary.

(Via Tokyograph.)

Yu Yamada to star in “Koi no Karasawagi”

NTV has revealed that its next “Koi no Karasawagi” (“Much Ado About Love”) drama special will air on September 25. Based on the variety show of that name, this will be the sixth in a series of yearly specials that started in 2004.

Like the previous specials, “Koi no Karasawagi: Love Stories VI” will consist of three stories. The first is “Rival no Onna,” starring Yu Yamada (25) as an unsuccessful entertainer who fights with a friend over a handsome actor. […]

(Via Tokyograph.)