HUOA is very privileged to have the generosity of countless numbers of traditional and contemporary artists and regional folk performers who have impressed our Festival year after year. 2012 is no exception. Featured artists from Okinawa this year include:
SPECIAL LION DANCE PERFORMANCE
Saturday, September 1 at 2:30 pm
Throughout Okinawa, the lion-dog, shisa, performs at festivals and rituals to dispel evil spirits, bringing prosperity and fertility to the community. Special artisans hand craft the head and body of the shisa.
Back in 1950, a pair of shisa were handcrafted, one remained in Hawaii and one gifted to the Miyahira village in Haebaru Town in Okinawa to replace the one lost during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.
Athletic, nimble pair of shisa dancers impress with choreographed tumbles and jumps. In celebration of the 30th Okinawan Festival and for the first time ever, a shisa from Okinawa will entertain you with its sibling shisa from Hawaii.
Saturday, September 1 at 3:30 PM (time updated)
Performing for the first time in Hawaii, Kouta Itoh will delight you with his heart warming performance! Itoh beat out other artists to win the coveted Radio Okinawa Miuta Taisho Contest.
A popular radio station in Okinawa, Radio Okinawa’s Miuta Taisho (literal translation is Radio Okinawa’s new song contest) is an original minyou or shima-uta (folk music or island music) composition contest.
KEIKO KINA & FAMILY
Saturday, September 1 at 4:00 pm
Popular with locals and visitors alike in Okinawa, Keiko Kina & Family will get you off your seat with upbeat Okinawan shima-uta music. Kina, son Eddie and granddaughters Masayo and Stephanie make up the quartet. Kina’s been surrounded by music all her life, growing up in a musical family, and having performed with her brother, Shoukichi Kina’s Champloose. Enjoy an upbeat mix of contemporary Okinawan songs!
MAMORU MIYAGI & YOKO HIZUKI
Sunday, September 2 at 4:00 pm
A crowd favorite and for his sixth appearance, one of Okinawa’s most refined and talented shimauta singers, Mamoru Miyagi, will grace the stage on Sunday at 4:00 pm. So richly mellow in his vocal delivery, he performs many of his own compositions. The lyrics are heartwarming and full of beauty and appreciation for his island home. Performing with Miyagi once again, Ms. Yoko Hizuki compliments with her soothing alto.
NAHA DAIKO WITH SPECIAL GUEST SUGURU IKEDA
Sunday, September 2 at 3:00 & 3:30 PM (time udpated)
From Naha, Okinawa, Naha Daiko shares its original eisa style, based on traditional Okinawan Eisa, in a joint performance with Chinagu Eisa Hawaii, featuring Ikeda Suguru on vocals.
A popular Okinawan artist, Ikeda Suguru, will add his powerful voice to a surely stunning eisa performance. Well known throughout Japan, Ikeda played the lead actor in Endo no Hana (Flowers by the Wayside) television series. He’s been a radio personality, author and lecturer. One of his more famous songs is, “Obaachan no Uta”, a beautiful ballad dedicated to his Grandmother, living in Iriomote Island.